US, Israel will Hold Biennial Joint Military Exercise

The Juniper Cobra 16 exercise will involve the US European Command and the IDF, and will focus on the threat of ballistic missiles

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, left, speaks to U.S. and Israeli troops as U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, center, watches on after viewing Juniper Cobra 14 military exercise at Hatzor Israeli Air Force Base (AP Photo)

Israel and the United States will train together against the threat of a ballistic missile attack this month, the IDF announced on Saturday.

The exercise, named Juniper Cobra, is held every two years and is meant to prepare the two militaries for the threat of a missile attack and to improve the cooperation and coordination between the US European Command (USEUCOM) and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

“These exercises, which are in the context of a long-standing strategic partnership, are planned in advance as part of a routine training cycle designed to improve cooperation. Such exercises contribute to the IDF’s qualitative military edge,” the IDF said in its statement.

Details of the exercise have yet to be released and will likely only come out when Juniper Cobra begins late this month, an IDF spokesperson said.

The last such drill, Juniper Cobra 14, a computer-simulated bilateral air defense exercise, was held in Israel in May 2014. At the start of the 2014 exercise, then-US defense secretary Chuck Hagel said: “The exercise will employ Israel’s entire rocket and ballistic missile architecture, including Iron Dome, Arrow, and David’s Sling: assets that the United States is proud to have helped Israel finance and develop."