Photo: IMoD Spokesperson's Office, Flash90

Israel, US complete joint missile-defense drill

The Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMoD) announced the successful joint simulation training exercise was focused on protecting the State of Israel from ballistic threats.

By Erin Viner

The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), together with the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA), Israeli Air Defense Command and the US Air and Missile Defense Task Force carried out the test at Elbit Systems Battle Lab in late July.

“The joint simulation training exercise continues the tradition of excellent cooperation between the countries’ armed forces in order to improve the soldiers’ competency level for tactics, techniques, and procedures and strengthen coordination between the forces,” said an IMoD statement obtained by TV7.

The Israeli forces operated the Arrow, David’s Sling and Iron Dome air defense systems, while the American forces operated the Patriot, Aegis and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) systems.

According to the statement, the Israeli Test-Bed (ITB) battle lab was developed by Elbit’s Elisra subsidiary, and is capable of simulating the air defense systems of both nations simultaneously at the same site, along with the display and record real-time data that assist in comprehensive debriefings of the scenarios.

“This exercise represents another step in our extensive cooperation with the American air and missile defense forces,” said IMDO Head Moshe Patel, adding that, “The combination of the different systems significantly improves our forces’ readiness to face evolving threats on several fronts simultaneously. The battle lab, which was developed at Elbit Systems by the IMDO and the MDA over the past thirty years, is constantly adapting to meet the challenges posed by our dynamic arena.”

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz asserted that, “The relationship between Israel and the US continues to grow stronger in face of the region’s increasing threats and challenges, in order to maintain our security and regional stability.”

Jerusalem’s top defense official added that he applauds the successful test and the continued progress in Israel’s air defense capabilities.

“Following my visit to CENTCOM headquarters last week, I welcome the new cooperation between CENTCOM and IDF forces. Combining forces, sharing knowledge, and strengthening the air defense of the Middle East is a message to our enemies and to our partners – we are strong together, and we are ready to stand together against any challenge – from the air, land, sea, and the cyber arena,” he stated.

Mission Control Center for Allied Procedures in the Aerial Defense Array Commander Brigadier General (Res.) Doron Gavish emphasized that, “The strategic cooperation between forces is a significant component for maintaining and improving defense capabilities in the face of shared threats.”

Describing the joint exercise as “an important element in training combat forces in the field,” Gen. Gavish said that the exercise was held in central Israel this year, under support by the IMDO for years.”

Disclosing that the “Israeli Air Force Air Defense Command participated in the joint exercise with forces from the European Command and, for the first time, our American partners at the US Central Command,” Gen. Gavish praised the drill as “very successful,” constituting “an important tool to improve our readiness processes and the IDF Central Command’s transition to joint activity with CENTCOM on both strategic and operational levels.”