DEBKAfile: Scaled down US-Israel air defense exercise takes off
The US and Israel Monday launched their biannual Juniper Cobra 16 air defense exercise, which is designed to improve their cooperation and test Israel’s air defense preparedness – only this year, our military sources report, it has been substantially scaled back. Both US and Israeli army spokesmen are trying to play down the fact that the maneuvers for improving air combat accuracy are simulated and there will be no live drills. The exercise is to be run from US command centers far from Israel and its Mediterranean assets and will be the smallest in scope in 14 years. Only 1,700 US military personnel will take part.
US THAAD and Patriot PAC-3 missile batteries will not participate and, indeed, America will not be contributing any of its ground-to-air missile systems.