Israeli and US officers stage four-day training exercise

The IDF said Thursday that around 200 US and Israeli officers had staged a computer-based battle simulation designed to improve coordination between the two countries' armed forces. The four-day exercise, codenamed "Juniper Falcon" was part of a standing agreement between the two strategic allies to hold regular joint training to boost "interoperability, understanding and cooperation" a military statement released on Thursday said. The statement stressed that the exercise, which ended on Wednesday, had been planned a year in advance and was not related to actual events. Defense officials said that in addition the IDF's southern command held a separate simulation based on a scenario of an escalated conflict in Gaza. They said that the drill, codenamed "Coiled Spring" should not be seen as a precursor to a real offensive into the Gaza Strip.