Israel, US holding joint missile defense drill
ByJPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
18 May 2014 07:30
Some 1,000 American soldiers arrive in Israel for biennial exercise due to start on Sunday morning; armies to test joint abilities to respond to projectile attacks.
Iron Dome rocket defense battery [file]

Iron Dome battery 370. (photo credit:Ben Hartman)

Israel and the US were slated to hold a joint missile-defense drill on Sunday morning.

The biennial exercise is designed to test the ability of joint operations between the two nations in response to missile attacks.



Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.



Some 1,000 American soldiers arrived in Israel for the drill, Israel Radio reported.

On Thursday, it was announced that the Israeli and American air forces had began a joint exercise, which is expected to last until next week. The IDF released no additional details about the drill.

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel met last week with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and other Israeli officials to discuss regional security issues. In his meeting with Netanyahu, Hagel reiterated the Obama administration’s commitment to deter Iran from gaining nuclear weapons capabilities.

The US defense chief stressed in his meeting with the prime minister that American support for Israel is currently at “an all-time high.”

“America’s commitment to Israel’s security is resolute,” Hagel stated. “The United States’ support for Israel is anchored in our nations’ commitment to democracy and freedom.”

In March a US general proposed that Israel upgrade its anti-missile systems to include neighboring Jordan and possibly Egypt.

The two Arab countries that have full peace treaties with the Jewish state share some of its concerns regarding the disputed nuclear program of Iran and the civil war wracking Syria – both states with longrange missile arsenals.

Jordan’s Red Sea port of Aqaba is also under threat from short-range rockets fired by Islamist terrorists in the largely lawless Egyptian Sinai, though they have more regularly targeted the next-door Israeli resort of Eilat.

Brig.-Gen. John Shapland, chief defense attaché for the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, raised the idea of extending Israel’s anti-missile umbrella in comments to a security conference in the city.

“If we were able to build a regional defense capability in, say, Jordan, that capability could easily defend Israel, Jordan and even Egypt, if you so desired, adding one more layer to your multi-layered defense,” he told Israeli officials and experts gathered at the INSS think tank.

The United States has extensively underwritten Israel’s two deployed missile interceptors – the Arrow II ballistic- missile interceptor and Iron Dome shortrange rocket interceptor – as well as others in the works, and allowed their integration with US counterpart systems.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.







Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

Tags:
  • Israel
  • Defense Ministry
  • United States
  • Middle East
  • Prev Article
    IDF ousts 2 soldiers for advocating on Facebook refusal to evacuate settlers
    Soldier protests settler evacuation on Facebook.
    Pnina Sharvit Baruch
    INSS Conference brings int'l law to world of non-lawyer security-experts
    Next Article
    Share this article via
    from around the web
    Related Content
    idf hebron
    22 August 2014
    Palestinians throw Molotov cocktail at IDF checkpoint in Hebron

    By KHALED ABU TOAMEH,TOVAH LAZAROFF

    Top Stories
    Israel Weather
    • 5 - 17
      Beer Sheva
      8 - 17
      Tel Aviv - Yafo
    • 5 - 12
      Jerusalem
      7 - 16
      Haifa
    • 10 - 21
      Elat
      7 - 17
      Tiberias