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US, Israel launch large-scale military exercise in regional show of force

JERUSALEM – US Central Command (CENTCOM) and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are holding a massive military exercise in Israel this week. These exercises would be the largest bilateral show of force between the two nations to date.

“Juniper Oak is a combined joint joint exercise that enhances our interoperability on land, air, sea, space and cyberspace with our partners, enhances our ability to respond to the unexpected, and underscores our commitment to the Middle East. East.” Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, commander of CENTCOM, said in a statement.

The statement continued, “These types of exercises – which CENTCOM regularly conducts with our partners – develop interoperability between military forces, increase military capabilities, and are important to the security and stability of the region. Lessons learned during of these exercises can be exported to our partners throughout the region.”

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The IDF and CENTCOM are in the midst of a joint military exercise in Israel this week.

The IDF and CENTCOM are in the midst of a joint military exercise in Israel this week.
(Courtesy of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

A new report by Ryan Brobst, research analyst at the Center on Military and Political Power of the FDD, said: “The Biden administration wants Tehran to understand that the United States has both the military means and the political will to stand with Israelsecure US interests in the region and successfully conduct large-scale strikes if necessary. »

The FDD report said the exercise was significant and noted, “The scope, complexity and size of this exercise should reassure Israelis, Americans and their regional partners, while making adversaries think twice about to launch an attack.”

CENTCOM and the Israel Defense Forces conduct "Exercise Juniper Oak" in Israel.

CENTCOM and the Israel Defense Forces conduct “Exercise Juniper Oak” in Israel.
(Courtesy of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

CENTCOM said the United States had contributed about 6,400 personnel, with about 450 to 500 American military personnel training at up to 10 bases in Israel, most operating at sea on six American ships, including the USS George H. W. Bush carrier battle group.

The Israelis have deployed more than 1,000 soldiers and officers, six ships and a significant number of aircraft, including F-35Is, F-16s, F-15s, G550 reconnaissance aircraft, B707 tanker aircraft, drones and helicopters.

U.S. Central Command and the IDF are participating in a joint military exercise known as the "Juniper Oak exercise," which takes place in Israel and the Eastern Mediterranean.

US Central Command and the IDF are participating in a joint military exercise known as “Exercise Juniper Oak”, which is taking place in Israel and the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
(Courtesy of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

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Earlier Wednesday, one of the highlights of the exercise took place when 100 tonnes of penetrating bombs in the bunker fell in a short time in a designated area of ​​southern Israel, which was reported by Israel’s Channel 12 to mimic an “Iranian nuclear facility”. The forces also practiced a rapid exit to minimize potential threats from the ground to the Israeli pilots.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, along with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, visited IAF Command and Control to witness various joint exercises.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discusses ongoing exercises with the United States

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discusses ongoing exercises with the United States
(Courtesy of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office)

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“The exercise demonstrates the indisputable strategic partnership between Israel and the United States, and is another step in building Israeli military might,” Netanyahu said. “Israel will always defend itself, but of course welcomes the intensification of cooperation with our great ally.”

Israel joined CENTCOM in September 2021 after years of participation in European Command, which has improved communication and coordination between Israel and other US allies in the region in the fight against Iran, mainly Arab armies, to following the agreements of Abraham.

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu underlined the crucial American commitment to the fight against Iran’s nuclear ambitions during a meeting with White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

General Michael "Erik" Kurilla, commander of CENTCOM during a joint military exercise between the two countries.  (Photo: IDF Spokesman's Unit.)

General Michael “Erik” Kurilla, commander of CENTCOM during a joint military exercise between the two countries. (Photo: IDF Spokesman’s Unit.)
(CENTCOM)

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“Our talks focused on regional security challenges, especially Iran, as well as ways of cooperation between us against this common threat,” the prime minister noted.

“I was impressed by the sincere and mutual desire to reach an agreement on this issue, which is of decisive importance for state security,” Netanyahu said.

Yonat Friling is a senior producer at Fox News Middle East. You can follow her @FrilingYonat

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