American transport planes landed in Israel Tuesday evening, bringing US Air Force troops and equipment to attend a personal follow-up to an air defense exercise that took place virtually earlier this year, the US Air Force said.
In February, the Israel Defense Forces and the US European Command (EUCOM) launched Exercise Juniper Falcon to simulate the threat of ballistic missile attacks. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, most of the exercise was held remotely, with IDF troops operating in Israel and US soldiers in Germany, where EUCOM is based.
“This long-planned event is a continuation of [Juniper Falcon 21], which took place earlier this year, “said the US Air Forces in Europe and Africa in a statement.
The exercise is designed to “test simulated emergency response procedures, ballistic missile defense and crisis response assistance in defending Israel,” the statement said.
The IDF did not immediately comment on the exercise.
Get the daily edition of the Times of Israel
by email and don’t miss any top stories
By registering, you agree to the terms and conditions
The missile attack threat is particularly acute in Israel as these weapons are primarily used by the country’s enemies. In total, an estimated hundreds of thousands of missiles, missiles and mortar shells are in the hands of terrorist groups in Gaza, Lebanon and Syria, in addition to the more advanced ballistic and cruise missiles held by Iranian agents in Yemen and Iraq.
Last week, the IDF released updated intelligence assessments of the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah, which showed the organization had between 130,000 and 150,000 missiles and missiles in its arsenals and would be able to deploy around 3,000 projectiles each day for at least a month Firing Israel week in a future conflict.
“Planning for [the exercise] began in 2020, and while the exercise is driven by overall Middle East dynamics, it is not in response to recent developments or specific real-world events, “the US Air Force said.
The Juniper Falcon exercise has been held roughly every two years by the IDF and EUCOM in Israel since 2001. This year’s exercise gained added importance as it both took place 30 years after the first case of Israeli-US air defense cooperation in 1991, when US air defense batteries were deployed in Israel to protect the country from Iraqi Scud missile attacks, and after the Announcement by the US military that Israel will be relocated from EUCOM’s area of responsibility to the Middle East-focused Central Command (CENTCOM).
You are serious We appreciate that!
That is why we come to work every day – to offer discerning readers like you indispensable coverage of Israel and the Jewish world.
Now we have a request. Unlike other news agencies, we haven’t set up a paywall. However, because the journalism we conduct is costly, we invite readers to whom The Times of Israel has become important to support our work by joining The Times of Israel Community.
For only $ 6 a month, you can support our quality journalism while enjoying The Times of Israel AD-FREE, as well as access to exclusive content only available to members of the Times of Israel community.
Join our community Join our community Already a member? Log in to no longer see this