Naval vessels participating in NATO's 2021 Noble Dina exercises. (IDF Spokesperson) (IDF Spokesperson)
Noble Dina

Israel will send F-16 fighter jets, Shayetet 3 missile warships and submarines from the Shayetet 7 unit for upcoming drills.

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

Israeli air and naval forces will be participating in a major annual NATO exercise in Greece later this week.

Israel will be joining the U.S., Canada, France, Italy, Cyprus, Slovenia, and Austria. The annual exercises usually focus on counter-terror operations, port protection and simulated battles. This year’s drills will focus on evading surface-to-air missiles, attacking and protecting aerial targets, air strikes on land-based targets and search and rescue operations, Greek officials said.

Also attending will be observers from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, India, Kuwait and five European countries.

Israel will be sending F-16 fighter jets, Boeing 707 refueling planes, Gulfstream G550 surveillance planes, Shayetet 3 missile warships and submarines from the Shayetet 7 unit.

Israel’s Channel 12 reported that lessons learned from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be implemented. The report added that for the Noble Dina’s European participants, the exercise “is a signal to Putin that these countries are working together to defend their sovereignty.”

The exercise underscores Israel’s increasing cooperation and integration with other militaries. This is a result of the Abraham Accords and former president Donald Trump transferring Israel from the US European Command (EUCOM) area of responsibility to the Central Command (CENTCOM). That move was intended to streamline US-Israeli military cooperation, and facilitate Israeli and Arab collaboration against Iran.

Indeed, this has led to a number of naval drills and air force exercises involving the U.S., Israel, its regional partners, and other countries over the last several months.

Most notably, for the first time, an IDF officer is now permanently stationed in an Arab state, serving as a liaison between Israel and the US Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet.

And in November, Defense Minister signed Israel’s first security cooperation arrangement with an Arab state, a memorandum of understanding with Morocco.