Friday, April 06, 2007

Israel & US Conclude Joint Military Exercise

Source: IDF Spokesperson

A joint command exercise of the IDF and US armed forces, known as 'Juniper Cobra 2007,' has come to a close.

The exercise entailed simulations of missile defense systems and computerized simulations of aerial defense.

According to authorities from both militaries, the exercise acts as a bridge for cooperation and is essential for mutual drawing of conclusions. "'Juniper Cobra 07', strives to enhance cooperation capabilities, understanding, and joint operation between the IDF and the United States Armed Forces," explained one of the exercise judges.

"It took place as part of an agreement between Israel and the US; having joint exercises on a regular basis. It should be noted that the preparation for the exercise took over a year, and is not a reaction to any of the occurrences in the region."

"Since we began carrying out the exercise, in 2001, it has become increasingly intense, extensive, and better than in previous years," noted a senior source at the Israel Air Force.

Observers from both militaries expressed their approval of the results of the exercise.

Additionally, they were content with the sharing of data and knowledge, and the cooperative studies which took place.

The exercise was lead by the Anti-Aircraft unit of the IAF, and represents another link in the chain of close cooperative operations between the armed forces of both of the nations.

More on 'Juniper Cobra 2007'

U.S., Israel hone missile defenses
THAAD makes Juniper Cobra debut
By Barbara Opall-RomePosted :

TEL AVIV, Israel - Hundreds of U.S. and Israeli missile defenders supported by virtual sea- and air-based forces are honing joint war-fighting skills in an ongoing computer simulated exercise here on the shores of the Med.

Conducted discreetly at bases throughout Israel, the Juniper Cobra drill is a biannual event involving front-line missile interceptors, command-and-control technologies and battle management systems of both nations.

Led by the Israel Air Force’s 167th Air Defense Artillery Brigade and the U.S. Army V Corps’ 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, this year’s drill marked the debut participation of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system and associated support elements, sources here said.

In addition to simulated THAAD and Patriot PAC-3 capabilities, U.S. forces used actual data from the U.S. Navy’s Aegis combat system, with its SPY-1D phased array search-and-track radar. Israeli systems linked into the distributed simulation drill were the latest Block 3 versions of the Arrow weapon system and the Israel Air Force’s upgraded versions of the Patriot PAC-2 system.

Unlike the three previous Juniper Cobras, no live missiles will be shot down in this year’s event because of logistical constraints associated with last summer’s Lebanon war and the transformation of units within U.S. European Command, officials here said.

“We had a lot of equipment tied up in the transformation of our 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade in Germany. Also, our planning kept getting deferred as a result of the Lebanon conflict, and we ran out of time to plan a large live-fire operation,” said Maj. Peggy Kageleiry, U.S. Army public affairs officer for Juniper Cobra 2007.

Kageleiry said, however, that the scaled-back computer simulation has proved valuable in advancing the primary purpose of Juniper Cobra, which is to improve the allies’ ability to cooperate against common threats.

“It’s all about interoperability… and the more we train together and exchange ideas, the readier we’ll be in any future scenario that may require joint or coalition operations,” she said.

An Israeli defense official said he looked forward to resuming live-fire interoperability drills in the next Juniper Cobra, tentatively planned for spring 2009. However, he said Israel’s Ministry of Defence and the military were satisfied by the “high level of cooperation and sharing of data” demonstrated by U.S. counterparts in this year’s drill.

The official said the two sides used the Coalition Network secure communications system to share data instantaneously among participating land-based forces and virtual sea- and air-based forces.

“In many respects, this year’s dynamic simulation allowed us to harmonize our technologies, tactics and procedures more efficiently than they might have been through live-fire exercises,” the official said. “We focused on critical aspects of command and control and decision-making in very extreme situations that we might not have been able to do had massive amounts of hardware been involved.”

Neither the Israeli defense official nor the American public affairs officer was willing to describe specific scenarios incorporated into the exercise. Nevertheless, sources associated with the planning of the event indicated that this year’s Juniper Cobra involved salvo attacks of increasingly sophisticated, maneuvering missiles, some of which were equipped with unconventional warheads.

“We try to plan for the kind of things that could happen in warfare, and that includes the full spectrum of threats,” Kageleiry confirmed.

The ongoing drill marks the fourth bilateral Juniper Cobra event since the two nations began joint missile defense training in 2001.


Fore more on 'Juniper Cobra 2007' please see the United States Army website: