YERUSHALAYIM — The Israeli and American air forces will be holding one of their biggest ever joint drills this week, between Tuesday and Thursday, over the Mediterranean Sea and Israel, The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.
The operation follows a statement made by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi during his visit to Washington last week in which he said that the two countries are committed to accelerating cooperation to mount a united front against Iran.
The joint drill will reportedly focus on long-range flights of the kind that would be required in a strike against Iranian targets, and will include refuelers as well as fighter jets from both forces.
CENTCOM Commander Gen. Michael Kurilla was in Israel a week ago to have a look at some of Israel’s military capabilities.
“We are operating together on all fronts to gather intelligence, neutralize threats, and prepare for various scenarios in either one or multiple arenas,” Kohavi said during Kurilla’s visit, adding that the two countries were “developing joint military capabilities at an accelerated rate” against Iran and other threats in the Middle East.
Over the past year, Israel has been allocating additional resources for such operations. The 58-billion-shekel defense budget set for the IDF in the coming year is aimed at enabling it to prepare for a response to threats posed by Iran across the Mideast, with approximately NIS 3.5b. earmarked for it.