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U.S. - Israel Relations: Juniper Cobra 2016

(February-March 2016)

The U.S. and Israeli militaries commenced the 8th biennial Juniper Cobra exercise in Israel on February 10, 2016. 1,700 U.S. military personnel arrived in Israel for the three-week training, which is a larger group than participated in the 2014 exercise, but still relatively small. Juniper Cobra 2016 will focus less on “boots on the ground” as ones in the past have, and be more oriented towards “simulated command post and joint task force operations.”

All Israeli weapons defense systems - the Arrow 2, Patriot PAC 2, the Iron Dome, and David's Sling - will be participating in the simulations and drills. During the event these systems will be subject to simultaneous, coordinated, and sustained attacks from all directions. An Israeli officer participating in the drill described it as “more modest this year in terms of numbers and actual hardware,” but added that it will nonetheless provide meaningful training to those involved.

An IDF statement released on February 6, 2016, explains that Juniper Cobra is, “part of the routine training cycle designed to improve cooperation and coordination.”

Source:Opall-Rome, Barbara. “US-Israel Drill Reduces Boots on Ground, Expands Simulation,” Defense News (February 11, 2016)