US EUCOM-IDF military exercise “Juniper Cobra 16” to hold wide-scale missile training

In its 8th success, military exercise between IDF and US EUCOM to focus on missile training

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Juniper Cobra 16 will continue its military exercises into next week with a reported simulation of a wide-scale missile attack on Israel.

Juniper Cobra is a collaborative military exercise held annually between the IDF and United States European Command. The exercises focus on improving coordination and cooperation between US EUCOM and the IDF.

According to U.S. 3rd Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Timothy Ray, “The purpose of this exercise is to improve interoperability of our air defense forces and our combined ability to defend against air and missile attacks. Our presence and participation here increases military readiness … and just as importantly, it signals our resolve to support Israel and strive for peace in the Middle East. As we look at what we’ve done in the past, there has been a marked improvement in our technology, tactics and procedures as we work together. We’ve improved our organizational structure in the US so we can transition from joint defense of Israel to a Joint Task Force. … This allows us to do a better job.”

Juniper Cobra 16 started last week, with over 1,700 US service members (Army, Navy and Air Force), contractors and employees. It is the 8th drill held since 2001.

Israel’s Air Defense Forces Brig. Gen. Tzvika Haimovich gave an update of the military exercises on Thursday, where he addressed Israel in light of ongoing threats from Hezbollah in Lebanon, as well as the Jewish State’s advanced defense weaponry. He stated that Israel’s “current defense capabilities are much better than they were a year ago, five years ago and 10 years ago. However, we know future scenarios will be more complex than what we saw in the Second Lebanon War or in Operation Protective Edge. Even if we double the number of interceptors and [defense] systems, there’s no such thing as a hermetic seal. Some rockers and missiles are bound to hit Israel. Our job is to minimize the damage, intercept the larger projectiles and defend strategic assets. You can’t intercept everything.”