JERUSALEM – The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are conducting large-scale military exercises in Israel this week. The exercise is said to be the most significant bilateral show of power between the two countries so far.
“Juniper Oak will improve our interoperability on land, air, sea, space and cyberspace with our partners, strengthen our ability to respond to contingencies, and underscore our commitment to the Middle East, all domains. It’s an integrated exercise.East.” CENTCOM commander General Michael “Erik” Kurilla said in a statement.
The statement continued, “These types of exercises that CENTCOM regularly conducts with its partners develop interoperability between militaries, enhance military capabilities, and are critical to regional security and stability. Lessons learned during the exercise can be exported to us, our partners across the region.”
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A new report by Ryan Brobst, a research analyst at the FDD’s Center for Military and Political Power, states: Successfully carry out massive strikes if necessary. ”
The FDD report stated that the exercise was important and that “the scope, complexity and scale of this exercise will make the adversary think twice before launching an attack, while the Israeli, American and regional We should guarantee our partners.”
According to CENTCOM, the United States is providing about 6,400 personnel, with about 450 to 500 American soldiers undergoing training at up to 10 bases in Israel, most of them in the USS George HW Bush aircraft carrier strike group. Operating at sea with six American ships, including
Israel has deployed more than 1,000 soldiers and officers, six ships, and numerous aircraft, including F-35Is, F-16s, F-15s, G550 reconnaissance planes, B707 tankers, UAVs, and helicopters.
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Earlier on Wednesday, one of the highlights of the drill came when a 100-ton bunker-piercing bomb fell briefly into a designated area in southern Israel. This was reported by Israeli Channel 12 as mimicking an “Iranian nuclear facility”. The military also practiced rapid exits to minimize potential threats to Israeli pilots from the ground.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, together with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi, visited IAF headquarters to witness various joint exercises.
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“This exercise demonstrates the indisputable strategic partnership between Israel and the United States and is another step in building Israel’s military strength,” Netanyahu said. “Israel will always defend itself, but of course welcomes increased cooperation with our great allies.”
After being part of the European Command to improve communication and coordination between Israel and other U.S. allies in the region in the fight against Iran, a largely Arab army, following the Abraham Accords, Israel Joined CENTCOM in September 2021.
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu underscored America’s critical commitment to combating Iran’s nuclear ambitions during a meeting with White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
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“Our talks focused not only on how we can work together against this common threat, but also on regional security challenges, particularly Iran.
Mr Netanyahu said he was “impressed by the genuine desire to reach mutual agreement on this issue of critical national security”.
Yonat Friling is a Senior Field Producer for Fox News Middle East.You can follow her @FrilingYonat