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US, Israel Launch Joint Air Defense Drill ‘Juniper Falcon’

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the United States European Command (EUCOM) launched a joint air defense exercise, dubbed “Juniper Falcon,” focused on the threat from ballistic missile attacks, the two armies announced Thursday.

“The exercise is designed to improve interoperability between the armies of the two countries and ensure that US and Israeli forces are ready and prepared to respond to any eventuality, especially those involving ballistic missile defense,” EUCOM said in a press release.

“The exercise simulates various scenarios in which Israel is threatened with attack from ballistic missiles and other air threats. It aims to strengthen cooperation, coordination and mutual learning between the two armies, to improve their preparedness, to jointly defend themselves against various threats,” the IDF declared in a statement.

After 20 years of cooperation, this may be the last time that the two armies organize this biennial exercise since the United States recently decided to take Israel out of EUCOM’s sphere of ​​responsibility and rather place it under that of the Central Command (CENTCOM).

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the exercise, which was officially launched on Wednesday, will take place largely remotely, with IDF troops in Israel and US military personnel in Germany and the United States.

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