image Photo: CENTCOM

IDF, CENTCOM hold Juniper Oak drill

Israel and the United States are seemingly raising their joint preparedness for an all-out regional war.

By Jonathan Hessen and Erin Viner

The Israel Defense Forces and the US Central Command (CENTCOM) have launched joint military exercises, unprecedented in scale, codenamed “Juniper Oak.”

The exercise is considered as an additional layer of defense, that will further strengthen and prepare multi-branch and international strategies for action among the respective militaries to counter innumerable regional threats.

Thousands of soldiers, about 140 aircraft and dozens of naval vessels are participating in the training, which the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said aims to “simulate target strikes and training in complex terrain while integrating joint communication and command and control systems.”

While the Israeli and US air forces, navies and ground forces will conduct coordinated strikes against targets representing maritime threats, including Israeli naval vessels and submarines maneuvering in tandem with an American aircraft carrier, both countries will be refueling fighter aircraft and bombers during simulated long-range strikes involving the dropping of live munitions across southern Israel by the US jets.

In addition, the Israeli Ground Forces and US Army will perform a training drill consisting of ground maneuvering and dozens of rocket launches, when long-range missiles are fired by advanced American systems such as the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

Juniper Oak is the largest joint Israeli-US exercise to date – in an apparent signal that Russia’s war against Ukraine has not diverted American attention from imminent threats emanating from the Islamic Republic of Iran.