U.S., Israel Conduct Major Air Defense Exercise

YERUSHALAYIM -

The U.S. and Israel have successfully carried out an unprecedentedly complex joint air defense exercise, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday, at the conclusion of a two-week project.

Six air defense systems were combined in a single computer-simulated rocket and missile defense drill in Israel. The U.S. European Command (EUCOM) oversaw the command and control systems of the Aegis Combat system, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), and Patriots, along with Israel’s Arrow 3, David’s Sling, and Iron Dome defenses.

A detachment of 1700 air, marine, navy and army personnel from EUCOM coordinated with 1,500 Israel Air Force members took part in Juniper Cobra 2016. The drill was carried out by means of simulators; no live fire was used.

“This is the highest priority exercise for the EUCOM in 2016,” an American defense official said.

An Israeli said: “We are increasing our readiness for projectile threats. Arsenals are growing larger around us. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking at Gaza or the northern arena. The projectile vector is the main effort the other side is preparing. They will try to challenge us. We are in a race. The enemy is learning, and we are too.”