U.S. Marine sits on top of an armored personnel carrier during Juniper Cobra, a U.S.-Israel joint air defence exercise in southern Israel, March 12, 2018. (Reuters photo)
JERUSALEM, March 22 (Xinhua) -- The Israel-U.S. joint military exercise, dubbed Juniper Cobra 2018, the largest drill of this kind, has ended, said the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) on Thursday.
During the past several weeks, the aerial defense and ground forces of the IDF and the U.S. European Command trained together in the drill, which started on March 4, involving a variety of scenarios.
The Aerial Defense Command deployed batteries of the various aerial defense systems and practiced computerized simulations to protect the State of Israel from a ballistic missile threat, said the Israeli army.
Nearly 5,000 troops from both sides have been participating in the drill, a biennial event that has been held nine times since 2001.
Combined exercises were also held for the combat soldiers of the Paratroopers' Reconnaissance Unit and the U.S. Marines. In these exercises, the forces practiced combined urban warfare, neutralizing explosive devices, use of artillery, drills combining armored vehicles, and the evacuation of wounded personnel, said the IDF.
The IDF's Counter-Terror Training Academy also hosted the U.S. Marines for training purposes and held a combined exercise with the Egoz Commando unit.
Also, logistics and medical forces from the IDF Technology and Logistics Directorate also trained alongside their U.S. counterparts in an exercise including a mass casualty scenario, evacuation of wounded by helicopter, and the use of advanced technology, according to the Israeli army.
Israel and the U.S. share core values and complement each other in their operational and military cooperation, and send a clear and powerful message to the entire region, said Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, head of the IDF Operations Directorate.
"The complex reality in the Middle East, including the activities of the global Jihad and other terror organizations, creates an array of challenges for the State of Israel and its partner, the United States of America," he stressed.
"Juniper Cobra 2018 is proved to be an incredibly challenging and realistic scenario, which required trust, communication and collaboration with our Israeli partners," said Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, the U.S. 3rd Air Force Commander. "The relationships built over the last two weeks help bolster our interoperability and pave the path for future engagements and exercises."
With U.S. funding and support, Israel has developed several systems like the "Arrow", "Iron Dome," "Patriot" and "David Sling," all used in the drill.