The U.S warship Iwo Jima was set to arrive in Israeli coastal waters on Tuesday in order to take part in the joint U.S.–Israeli military exercise “Juniper Cobra 2018.”
The Iwo Jima, which currently serves with the Navy’s Sixth Fleet, carries 1,400 marines along with 25 aircraft and three hovercraft.
Marine Captain Farrell J. Sullivan said, “The exercise is an extraordinary opportunity for both armies to work together and demonstrate their mutual commitment.”
Meanwhile, the IDF announced that for the first time since the Second Intifada in the early 2000s, it will increase the length of training for combat soldiers from 13 to 17 consecutive weeks, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The augmented training regime will feature urban and night fighting, as well as counter-measures against tunnels and antitank missiles.
In addition, the IDF is currently in the process of replacing all armored vehicles in both the Nahal and Givati Brigades, which will enhance the effectiveness of the ground forces, said Brig.- Gen. Oded Basiok, commander of the 162nd Division.