Israeli and American troops gear up for joint 12-day Juniper Cobra drill

Source: Israeli and American troops gear up for joint 12-day Juniper Cobra drill – Israel News – Jerusalem Post

The ninth annual Juniper Cobra drill scheduled to take place from March 4-15, will be the largest IDF and US European Command joint exercise taking place this year.

BY ANNA AHRONHEIM
 FEBRUARY 22, 2018 22:08
Israeli and American troops gear up for joint 12-day Juniper Cobra drill

 US Army officers walks on a Patriot anti-missile battery site during a joint Israeli-US air-defence exercise dubbed ‘Juniper Cobra’, in Tel Aviv October 27, 2009. REUTERS/Ziv Koren/Pool . (photo credit: REUTERS/ZIV KOREN)

Israel is gearing up for an extensive aerial drill with troops from the United States European Command set to begin in early March, the IDF announced Thursday evening.

The ninth annual Juniper Cobra drill scheduled to take place from March 4-15, will be the largest IDF and US European Command joint exercise taking place this year with over 2,500 US troops deployed in Europe participating alongside 2,000 Israeli Aerial Defense troops, logistics units, medical forces, and additional IDF units.

The last Juniper Cobra, which occurred in June 2016 and was seen as the “premier exercise in this region,” saw over 3,000 American troops taking part. The drill is also considered the “flagship” exercise of the Israel Air Force’s Aerial Defense Division.

Additional joint exercises between Israeli and American troops will continue after the completion of the drill through the end of March, said the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit.

The country’s defense establishment has undertaken extensive preparations for the exercise in recent weeks, including the reception of American forces to Israel via both air and sea.

“Juniper Cobra 2018 is another step in improving the readiness of the IDF and the IAF in particular to enhance their operational capabilities in facing the threat posed by high-trajectory missiles,” said Brig.-Gen Zvika Haimovich, the IDF’s Aerial Defense Division head.

“The exercise demonstrates the close and strategic cooperation between the IDF and the US Armed Forces,” he continued adding that “in the coming weeks we will be dealing with challenging and complex scenarios adapted to Israel’s operational reality.”

In early February, the IDF confirmed to The Jerusalem Post that the large-scale twelve-day drill will simulate a massive missile attack on the Homefront from both the Gaza Strip and the north and will be led by the Israel Air Force.

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