Israel and U.S. launch large joint missile defense drill

A battery of Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system. Credit: IDF.

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to A large multi-day joint exercise between the Israel Defense Forces and the United States European Command officially got underway on Sunday.

According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, the goal of the exercise, named Juniper Cobra 16, is to “improve cooperation and coordination between the two militaries and bolster ballistic missile defense capabilities.”

More than 1,700 U.S. soldiers, civilians, and contractors traveled to Israel to take part in the exercise.

Juniper Cobra exercises are held every two years. This year’s exercise marks the eighth since the first one was held in 2001. During the current exercise, the American and Israeli participants are training, via computer simulations, in how to deal with missile and rocket attacks. The various components of Israel’s multi-tiered aerial defense network—including the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow systems—are taking part in the exercise.

“This exercise provides an opportunity for both militaries for joint learning and training,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said. “The exercise is another step in strategic relations between Israel and the U.S., and it will greatly contribute to regional stability.”

Posted on February 22, 2016 .