The Israel Defense Forces and the United States Central Command announced on Monday the start of a large-scale joint military exercise in Israel and the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The drill, named Juniper Oak 2023, will involve over 140 aircraft, 12 naval vessels, and artillery systems from both nations and will last until Friday, January 27. A senior US defense official informed NBC News that the exercise is intended to send a message to adversaries such as Iran that the United States is capable of mobilizing a significant military force despite other ongoing global issues such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and threats from China.
Both the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have emphasized the importance of the joint military exercise, known as Juniper Oak 2023. The exercise, which will involve over 140 aircraft, 12 naval vessels, and artillery systems from both nations, will last until Friday, with the goal of strengthening the readiness and interoperability of both forces, thereby contributing to regional stability. According to CENTCOM, the exercise will test joint Israeli-US readiness and improve the operational relationship between the two armies. The General Michael Kurilla, commander of CENTCOM, stated that the drill enhances the ability to respond to contingencies and underscores the commitment to the Middle East. The forces will practice joint command and control, air operations in maritime surface warfare, combat search and rescue, electronic attacks, suppression of enemy air defenses, strike coordination and reconnaissance, and air interdiction.
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