Israeli F-16
Israeli F-16 Israel news photo: Flash 90

U.S. army officers have begun arriving in Israel ahead of joint military maneuvers between the countries' armed forces, the Yediot Achronot newspaper reported on Sunday.

The officers will supervise the arrival of hundreds of U.S. troops on October 14 for joint maneuvers that will take place the following week and last for three weeks, the report, quoted by AFP, said.

The U.S.-Israeli exercises will be the most important yet between the two countries, the paper said.

TIME Magazine reported last month that Washington had significantly reduced the number of its joint military exercises with Israel, probably because of disagreement between them over how best to deal with Iran's nuclear program.

The drill was postponed eight months ago just as concerns were brimming that Israel would launch a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. It was later rescheduled for later this month.

Instead of the approximately 5,000 U.S. troops originally trumpeted for Austere Challenge 12, as the annual exercise is called, the Pentagon will send only 1,500 service members, and perhaps as few as 1,200, TIME reported. 

Yediot Achronot said in its Sunday report that Israel's air defenses will be tested on this occasion, including its Arrow missile-to-missile batteries and its Iron Dome rocket interception system.

An Israeli army spokeswoman contacted by AFP refused to comment on the upcoming military exercises.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)