The US Marine Corps joined Israel’s Navy Commandos in a drill aimed at strengthening cooperation between the two units and sharing tactics in countering Islamic terrorism in the Middle East.

The IDF and the US Marine Corps recently completed a joint exercise in southern Israel, Israel’s Channel 2 reported Thursday.

Code-named Noble Shirley 2016, this drill was the latest in a series of routine bilateral training exercises seeking to improve collaboration and interoperability between the Israeli and American forces.

The live-fire training drill, held last week, involved the Marines’ Battalion Landing Team, 6th Marine Regiment and 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, which coordinated with Israeli ground, air and naval forces, including Israel’s elite Naval Commandos.

Special emphasis was placed on urban warfare and counterterrorism, Channel 2 said, adding that US troops were utilizing IDF counterterrorism expertise in the war on Islamic State (ISIS) in the Middle East.

As part of the exercise, troops performed urban and tunnel warfare tasks, drilled helicopter landings behind enemy lines and simulated extractions under fire. Various tactical formations, including by military medical personnel, were also among the scenarios included in the exercise.

According to Channel 2, the drill also included a scenario in which Israel was subjected to Hezbollah and Iranian missile salvos, which sought to test real-time integration of Israeli and American missile defense systems. Israeli defense officials used American radar systems deployed across the Middle East, as well as a satellite system capable of alerting of missile launches across the globe.

Israel’s David’s Sling medium- to long-range missile defense system was also deployed as part of the exercise.

“The test demonstrated the United States’ commitment for the protection of Israel as well as the interoperability between the United States and Israeli integrated defense system architecture,” the Defense Ministry stated after the drill.

Israel and the US have been collaborating in recent years in the development of anti-missile defense systems, and in June the US House of Representatives passed an appropriations measure that included $635.7 million earmarked for funding of Israel’s missile defense programs.

By: JNS. org and United with Israel Staff