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Joint U.S. Marines-IDF Intrepid Maven Exercise

(February 19-March 1, 2023)

From February 19 through March 1, 2023, Marines of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) trained alongside the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for the first time since CENTCOM assumed combatant command responsibility over Israel from U.S. European Command in September 2021. The Intrepid Maven exercise involved approximately 200 Marines and sailors.

The Marines’ goal was to increase unit readiness. The exercise included training in fire and maneuver, communications and medical, individual and collective marksmanship and gunnery skills, and fire support coordination. They learned IDF tactics, techniques, and procedures and taught their own to the Israelis. One outcome was to increase interoperability between the two forces as well as readiness for close-quarter combat.

“This is a great opportunity for our Marines and Sailors to work alongside our Israeli Defense Force counterparts,” said Major General Paul J. Rock Jr., commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command. “The recent shift of Israel from being a partner in the European Command Area of Responsibility to that of Central Command presents a historic opportunity in the ongoing mission to ensure regional peace and stability,” he said. “The very purpose of our Intrepid Maven exercise series is to enhance collaboration and cooperation with partners. Our actions support the National Defense Strategy priority of developing key partnerships, and reflect both our enduring commitment to Israel as a new MARCENT partner and our mutual desire for regional stability. At the troop level, it’s just a great opportunity for enhanced training, cultural exposure and, ultimately, improved unit readiness.”

Sources: Capt. Joseph Leitner, “Exercise Intrepid Maven 23.2 Begins In Israel,” Marines, (February 21, 2023).
Tom O’Connor, “As Mideast Tensions Rise, U.S. and Israel Practice Fighting Side-by-Side,” Newsweek, (March 2, 2023).

Photos: Top - Lance Cpl. Emma Gray, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command.