Drill is 8th in cooperative exercises between EUCOM and IDF and is “major milestone an unparalleled security alliance in the strategic relationship between the two countries”
The IDF and United States European Command began their 8th joint missile defense drills and exercises to continue through out the week.
The “Juniper Cobra 16” focuses on improving coordination and cooperation between US EUCOM and the IDF. According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, the drills are to “improve cooperation and coordination between the two militaries and bolster ballistic missile defense capabilities… This exercise provides an opportunity for both militaries for joint learning and training” and is an additional step “in strategic relations between Israel and the U.S., and it will greatly contribute to regional stability.”
Brigadier General Tzvika Haimovich of the Israeli Air Force Aerial Defense Division stated that “The exercise is a major milestone an unparalleled security alliance in the strategic relationship between the two countries. This cooperation reflects a commitment to protect the lives of civilians and deep appreciation to the IDF, the air force and air defense system,” with Director of Exercises and Assessments at Headquarters of EUCOM Major General Mark Loeben stating “Supporting Israel’s right to defend itself constituted an integral part of US policy in the region for decades. The exercise was and will continue to be supported in this policy. This is our nation’s premier exercise in the region, and EUCOM’s highest priority exercise for 2016.”
Israel is hosting over 1,700 US service members, contractors and employees for the week of drills and events.