U.S. Marine forces conducted land and sea maneuvers for nearly two weeks in the Negev desert in late November and early December 1998. The exercises were reportedly routine and not related to tensions with Iraq. A U.S. Embassy spokesman said the Marines were conducting the exercises alone, though they often train with their Israeli counterparts as part of ongoing strategic cooperation between the two allies. Israel is one of the few countries in the region that allows the Marines to train on its soil.
Source: Associated Press, December 7, 1998.