Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich (Youtube/Screenshot)

“The Juniper Cobra 2018 exercise will serve as an opportunity for the IDF, and the IAF in particular, to enhance operational capabilities in the face of high-trajectory threats,” explained Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich, chief of Israel’s Air Defense Command.

By: TPS and United with Israel Staff

The IDF is currently in the midst of a large-scale training exercise with the US military. The exercise, titled ‘Juniper Cobra 2018’ has been taking place since March 4 and will continue until the 15 of the month.

Juniper Cobra 2018 is a bilateral exercise with the Israeli Defense Forces to prepare our forces to counter any ballistic missile threats to Israel.

Over 2,500 US troops, routinely based in Europe, are participating in the exercise, alongside 1,400 Israeli missile defense, logistics, medical, and additional IDF units.

Over the past several weeks, extensive preparations for the exercise have been conducted, including the reception of American forces to Israel, via air and sea. The purposes of the exercise are to strengthen the cooperation and coordination between the two militaries, to promote bilateral learning and enhance aerial defense capabilities.

The exercise simulates a scenario in which US forces would deploy to Israel in order to aid IDF aerial defense forces. Together they will perform computerized simulations of a variety of rocket threat scenarios in different regions. The simulations include the use of the “Arrow,” “Iron Dome”, “Patriot”, and “David’s Sling” systems, all layers of Israel’s multi-tier missile defense architecture.  The David’s Sling System, which operates against medium-range threats, was declared operational in April 2017.

The largest joint exercise this year, it is the ninth time that “Juniper Cobra” exercise are taking place in Israel since 2001.

“The United States and Israel enjoy a strong and enduring military to military partnership built on a trust that has been developed over decades of cooperation, providing us with the opportunity to bolster interoperability and develop seamless integration with our Israeli partners The Juniper Cobra exercises continue to strengthen this relationship,” said US Air Force Third Air Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark.

‘Practicing Responses to Real, Complex, Multidirectional Threats’

Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich, head of the IDF’s aerial defense array, said prior to the start of the exercise: “The Juniper Cobra 2018 exercise will serve as an opportunity for the IDF, and the IAF in particular, to enhance operational capabilities in the face of high-trajectory threats.The exercise demonstrates the strategic and fundamental cooperation between the IDF and the US Armed Forces. In the coming weeks we will train together to face complex and challenging scenarios, which are relevant to the dynamic range of threats that we must be prepared to face.”

“We will practice fighting shoulder to shoulder,” Haimovich said, according to “We are practicing responses to real, complex, multidirectional threats. The emphasis is, above all, on cooperation between commanders and people.”

“Savlos, and more accurate, precise, multidirectional fire—those are our assumptions” of what a war will involve, he said. “It doesn’t matter if these come from the south, north, or east . . . unfortunately, we live in an environment in which we need to keep up our skills every year,” he said.