Earlier reports that Israel refuses to hold a planned military exercise with the Americans have been nixed – and in fact, Israel is anxious to hold a larger-scale drill than originally planned.
It had been reported that Israel was "upset" with the U.S. over the Iran deal, and was therefore not willing to cooperate militarily, at least temporarily.
Defense News now reports that in actuality, the Israeli military wants to expand, rather than nix, the upcoming drill, known in Israel as JC16.
IDF officers are negotiating with their U.S. counterparts about the upcoming exercise, scheduled for early next year. The Israelis are hoping that with Israel including its new David's Sling missile defense system, the U.S. will bring along its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) batteries.
The Americans have not yet agreed, an Israel Air Force commander told Defense News. The report implied that the earlier reports of Israeli displeasure with the U.S. originated in high Israeli political echelons, but that within the military, it's "business as usual" with the Americans.
JC16 - a biannual joint air and missile defense drill - is currently slated to be much larger than the last drill, which took place in May 2014. The largest-ever joint Israel-U.S. military exercise, known as Austere Challenge, was held in October-November 2012. It lasted nearly a month and involved 3,500 American troops.