(Matty Stern/US Embassy Tel Aviv)
Juniper Cobra

The IDF has begun to prepare for Juniper Cobra 18, a combined US Army and IDF air defense exercise.

By: United with Israel Staff

The IDF has begun to prepare for a massive joint Israel-US air defense exercise in March, in which some 2,500 US troops will participate.

The IDF’s preparations include the extensive deployment of forces across the country and initial drills, in anticipation of the largest IDF and USEUCOM (US European Command) joint exercise taking place this year, “Juniper Cobra 2018.”

“Juniper Cobra,” is a US-Israel military drill, which occurs every two years and tests the nations’ joint response to rocket attacks.

US forces have already landed in Israel, via air and sea.

The purposes of the exercise are to strengthen the cooperation and coordination between the two militaries, to promote bilateral learning and to enhance aerial defense capabilities.

This is the ninth time the “Juniper Cobra” exercise has taken place in Israel since 2001. This will be the largest IDF and USEUCOM joint exercise taking place this year.

Over 2,500 US troops who are routinely based in Europe, will be participating in the exercise, alongside 1,400 Israeli Aerial Defense troops, logistics units, medical forces, and additional IDF units.

The exercise simulates a scenario in which US forces deploy to Israel in order to aid the IDF Aerial Defense forces in the event of an attack on the Jewish state. Together, they will perform computerized simulations of a variety of rocket threat scenarios in different regions.

The simulations include the use of the Arrow, Iron Dome, Patriot, and David’s Sling defense systems. The David’s Sling System was recently declared operational in April.

Strategic Cooperation Between the IDF and US Army

“The ‘Juniper Cobra 2018’ exercise will serve as an opportunity for the IDF, and the IAF in particular, to enhance operational capabilities in the face of high-trajectory threats,” stated IDF Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich, Commander of the Aerial Defense Array.

He added that “the exercise demonstrates the strategic and fundamental cooperation between the IDF and the US Armed Forces. In the coming weeks we will train together to face complex and challenging scenarios, which are relevant to the dynamic range of threats that we must be prepared to face.”

Third Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark stated that the US and Israel “enjoy a strong and enduring military-to-military partnership built on a trust that has been developed over decades of cooperation. The Juniper Cobra exercises continue to strengthen this relationship, providing us with the opportunity to bolster interoperability and develop seamless integration with our Israeli partners.”

Clark also serves as the commander for the deploying Joint Task Force-Israel.

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