The IDF and the United States European Command (US EUCOM) began their eighth ballistic missile defense exercise on Sunday.
The joint exercise, known as Juniper Cobra, has taken place every two years since 2001. Its primary purpose is to enhance interoperability between the two militaries and improve joint defensive capabilities. The drills are not undertaken in preparation for any specific or potential scenario.
Over 1,700 US service members, civilians and contractors will also participate in an exercise aimed at addressing potential computer-related challenges that Israel could face in the future. The date for the planned exercise has not yet been announced.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said that it sees the joint exercise as an opportunity to increase the long-standing cooperation between the military forces.
“This exercise is a significant milestone in the strategic relationship between the two countries, a security alliance unmatched by any other country in the world. This collaboration reflects a commitment to protecting civilian lives as well as a deep appreciation of the IDF, IAF and the Aerial Defense System,” Commander of the Aerial Defense Division, Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich said.
Maj. Gen. Mark Loeben, Director of Exercises and Assessments at US EUCOM Headquarters added: “Support for Israel’s defense has been an integral part of US policy in the region for decades, and this exercise has, and will continue, to directly support that policy. This exercise is our nation’s premier exercise in the region, and EUCOM’s highest priority exercise for 2016.”