The IDF and the U.S. European Command concluded the Juniper Cobra 2010 air defense exercise on Monday. The exercise, which is executed once every two years, was held for the fifth time.
Approximately 1,400 U.S. personnel from the four services of the U.S. military took part in the exercise, as did an equal number of IDF personnel.
The exercise, which began on October 21, had three main phases. A "Field Training Exercise," stressed the cooperation between Israeli and U.S. forces in various drills throughout Israel. A computer-simulation "Command Post Exercise" examined the interoperability of Israeli and U.S. air defense systems. Finally, a "Live Fire Exercise" tested both Israel and U.S. air defense systems including the "Patriot" system.
Live test of Patriot system
Military observers from the IDF and EUCOM were pleased with the results and said that Juniper Cobra enabled participants to learn from each other's knowledge and experience.
The IDF spokesman's office released statements from senior military commanders regarding the drill:
The Commander of the Israel Air Force Air Defense Corps, Brig. Gen. Doron Gavish, said "…During the Juniper Cobra exercise we applied the active defense systems in cooperation with our counterpart and the Israeli forces. The exercise simulated challenging scenarios and the use of the most advanced weapons in the field. The exercise ended successfully. The professionalism of the forces and the level of cooperation between the two armies were reflected in the way the forces were activated. From an operational standpoint, the exercise and the learning process that took place during the exercise constitute another step in the level of readiness of these systems."
The Commander of the U.S. Joint Task Force, Rear Admiral John M. Richardson, said: "During the past two weeks, our two forces have stood together and fought through a very challenging scenario. We have brought together new technologies and new procedures. We learned some very valuable lessons and had a tremendous result. I want to thank the Israeli people, and especially the Israel Defense Forces, for their hospitality and cooperation."
Admiral James G. Stavridis, EUCOM Commander, wrote the following in an open letter to the Israeli public:
"A good example of our alliance is the military exercise Juniper Cobra, which is a bi-annual collaborative training event that prepares approximately 1,000 personnel from the Israel and U.S. air, sea and land forces to work together to protect against missile threats. You can be proud of the superb efforts by the men and women of your armed forces in what was an intense and in-depth three-week training endeavor. Our years of progress and strength show our shared commitment towards a stable Middle East."