The USS Iwo Jima will arrive off the coast of Israel Tuesday as part of the joint US-Israeli military exercise "Juniper Cobra 2018".
The Iwo Jima carries 1,400 marines in addition to 25 aircraft and three hovercraft. Its home port is the Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida. The warship is currently serving with the US Navy's Sixth Fleet.
The Juniper Cobra 2018 joint exercise is focused on improving defense capabilities from an integrated ballistic attack. In addition to the aerial cooperation, additional exercises will be held, in which some 650 American marines will take part.
These exercises with enable the IDF and the US military to enhance cooperation between the two forces.
The Iwo Jima can deploy various aircraft and ground vehicles, along with amphibious landing craft, while maintaining a safe distance from the shore. In addition, the ship has tools and systems that allow the landing of air crews and equipment on its 257-meter (843 feet) landing strip, while off the coast of a combat zone.
Marine Commander, Marine Captain Farrell J. Sullivan noted, "The exercise is an extraordinary opportunity for both armies to work together and demonstrate their mutual commitment."