US soldiers in Israel during the 2014 Juniper Cobra. (Matty Stern/US Embassy) (Matty Stern/US Embassy)
Juniper Cobra

In a display of the close bonds between the two armies, US and Israeli troops will “face” the Iranian ballistic threat in a simulated drill. 

The US European Command (USEUCOM) and the Israel Defense Forces will participate in a bilateral exercise, Juniper Cobra, in February as part of the regular training cycle.

This exercise is designed to improve cooperation and coordination between the two armies, the IDF stated.

The exercise has been in planning since late 2014. The exercise scenario is a simulation to provide training in ballistic missile defense (BMD), and specifically an attack from Iran.

“These exercises, which are in the context of a long-standing strategic partnership, are planned in advance as part of a routine training cycle designed to improve cooperation. Such exercises contribute to the IDF’s qualitative military edge,” the IDF said in a statement.

The joint exercise was initiated in 2001 and is conducted once every two years. In 2012 the exercise was cancelled in an attempt to reduce tensions with Iran. However, Austere Challenge, a similar exercise was conducted later in the year.

Commenting on the drill in 2014, US Ambassador Dan Shapiro called the exercise “the premier example of the cooperation and commitment that we have to protect Israel and its security.”

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel

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