Israel, U.S. to begin massive air force drill amid northern tension

The goal of the drill is the strengthening of cooperation, mutual learning, and coordination between the armies.

February 7, 2019 18:48
1 minute read.
US Army soldiers arrive at Israel for preparations of the 2019 Juniper Falcon annual drill

US Army soldiers arrive at Israel for preparations of the 2019 Juniper Falcon annual drill. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)


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Amid growing tension along the northern border, the IDF and the United States military will hold their annual joint exercise next week to test the level of coordination between the two countries in the event of future conflicts.

The exercise is part of a long standing agreement between the US and Israel to hold bilateral training exercises on a regular basis and the IDF Spokesman’s Office stressed that it was not associated with a particular threat or world event.

The goal of the drill - known as Juniper Falcon - is to strengthen cooperation, mutual learning, and coordination between the armies. In 2017, 12 American F-15E Strike Eagles and approximately 80 Airmen attached to the 494th Fighter Squadron flew missions with the Israeli Air Force.
The drill is expected to include over 300 US Army soldiers and 400 IDF soldiers from different units.

The last Juniper drill, which occurred in March 2018, was labeled as the largest IDF and US European Command joint exercise in 2018, with more than 2,500 US troops deployed in Europe participating alongside 2,000 Israeli Aerial Defense troops, logistics units, medical forces, and additional IDF units.

On Wednesday, the United States purchased the Iron Dome missile defense system from Israel for an immediate need of the United States Army. “This is yet another expression of the strengthening of our strong alliance with the US," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

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