Over the next few weeks, the IDF (Zahal) and the United States European Command will be taking part in a joint training exercise named Juniper Cobra 16. Every two years, we join together and improve our ability to defend Israel. As two countries that value democracy, freedom, and equality, our cooperation is of vital interest to both of our nations.

Juniper Cobra 16 – Dedication to Cooperation

US EUCOM forces unloading equipment for Juniper Cobra exercise

Together, we will be exercising our ballistic missile defense capabilities that will be integral to keeping Israel safe in any future conflict. Juniper Cobra is the eighth in a series of biennial exercises between the two militaries dating back to 2001, and is an important part of the training of both the US EUCOM and the IDF (Zahal). Planning began over a year ago and is not related to any specific events or developments in the region.

Juniper Cobra 16 – Dedication to Cooperation

US EUCOM and IDF (Zahal) forces sit together during Juniper Cobra opening ceremony.

During the exercise, over 1,700 U.S. Service members, civilians and contractors will join together with the IDF (Zahal) in addressing computer simulated challenges that Israel may face. It is a perfect opportunity for the US and Israel to further enhance our longstanding military cooperation.

Juniper Cobra 16 – Dedication to Cooperation

US EUCOM forces build the temporary structure used as headquarters during the exercise.

“This exercise is a significant milestone in the strategic relationship between the two countries, a security alliance unmatched by any other country in the world. This collaboration reflects a commitment to protecting civilian lives as well as a deep appreciation for the IDF (Zahal), IAF and the Aerial Defense System,” the Commander of the Aerial Defense Division, Brigadier General Zvika Haimovich said.

We are excited to host US EUCOM and look forward to working together in Israel’s defense. Shalom, welcome to Israel!