Israel and United States Air Forces conclude joint exercise “Juniper Falcon”

Two-week annual training centered on mobile enemy targets; Israel and US conclude 9th aerial training over weekend

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Israel’s Air Force and the United States Air Force finished a two-week aerial training in Israel over the weekend.

Both countries took part in its annual training known this year as the “Juniper Falcon”, the exercises simulating mobile enemy targets and war scenarios.

The United States forces came from the 173rd Airborne Brigade based in Vicenza, Italy, the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment from Vilseck, Germany and 37th Airlift Squadron from Ramstein, Germany.

A reported 30 fighter jets from Israel’s Air Force’s 69th Squadron took part in the two-weeks of training.

According to Army Command Sgt. Maj. John W. Troxell, the drills are centered on building “partner capacity”, Troxell stating on Juniper Falcon “For the past 16 years, we’ve been in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and now in Syria, but we don’t have the numbers that we had in those places years ago. The strategy now is about building partner capacity, assuring our allies and partners and deterring aggression for any potential other threats,” adding that the exercise is to “build partner capacity is an integral part of the defense of the homeland now.”

Last year Israel, the US Air Force and European Command conducted the “Juniper Cobra 16” military exercise. It was the eighth air force training between the United States and Israel. Last year’s drills focused on improving “cooperation and coordination between the two militaries and bolster ballistic missile defense capabilities.” During the training, the Israel Air Force tested its Patriot missile which is now fully operational and has been deployed to Israel’s northern borders.

Israel, the United States, Germany, Greece, Poland, Italy and India will all take part in the “Blue Flag” training in November of this year, the exercises to be held in Israel.