IDF, US Forces Participate in Juniper Cobra Exercise
Written by Yona Schnitzer/TPS on March 08, 2018
The IDF is currently in the middle of a large-scale training exercise with the United States military. The exercise, titled ‘Juniper Cobra 2018’ has been taking place since March 4th and will continue until the 15th of the month.
Over 2,500 US troops who are routinely based in Europe, are participating in the exercise, alongside 1,400 Israeli missile defense, logistics, medical, and additional IDF units.
In the last several weeks, extensive preparations for the exercise have been conducted, including the reception of American forces to 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 enhance aerial defense capabilities.
The exercise simulates a scenario in which US forces would deploy to Israel in order to aid IDF aerial defense forces. 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” systems, all layers of Israel’s multi-tier missile defense architecture. The David’s Sling System, which operates against medium-range threats, was declared operational in April 2017.
This is the ninth time the “Juniper Cobra” exercise takes place in Israel since 2001. This will be the largest joint exercise taking place this year.
“The United States and Israel enjoy a strong and enduring military to military partnership built on a trust that has been developed over decades of cooperation, providing us with the opportunity to bolster interoperability and develop seamless integration with our Israeli partners The Juniper Cobra exercises continue to strengthen this relationship,” said US Air Force Third Air Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark.
Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich, head of the IDF’s aerial defense array said prior to the start of the exercise: “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.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.”