ISRAEL (AFNS) --
In support of long-standing, bilateral agreements, military members from the U.S. European Command and the Israel Defense Forces held exercise Juniper Falcon 21-2 at various locations in Israel, July 23-28.
A continuation of the first-ever virtual Juniper Falcon concluded Feb. 12 of this year, JF 21-2 serves as an in-person opportunity for U.S. military personnel and IDF to test emergency response procedures, ballistic missile defense and crisis response assistance in support of the defense of Israel.
“The U.S. has a long-standing and steadfast commitment to the people of Israel and their right to self-defense,” said Lt. Gen. Steven Basham, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa deputy commander and Joint Task Force–Israel commander. “We consistently train together so when our personnel and equipment hit the ground, we are fully integrated and ready to face a complex range of dynamic scenarios.”
Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, both the U.S. and Israel are focused on building readiness in support of the United States’ ironclad commitment to assist in the defense of Israel and are dedicated to the safety of personnel, their families and the communities where activities are taking place.
“Due to the global pandemic, we had to redesign how we come together to advance interoperability between our two forces,” Basham said. “We are using lessons learned from the last year to improve the Juniper series, while keeping health and safety a priority.”
Juniper Falcon is held every two years, alternating with Juniper Cobra, and is designed to enhance interoperability between both nations’ militaries in order to ensure U.S. and Israeli forces are ready and prepared to respond to any contingency, particularly those involving ballistic missile defense.
Juniper Falcon is driven by regional dynamics in the Middle East, but is not related to any specific events or developments. Planning for JF 21-2 began in 2020 as part of regularly scheduled training between USEUCOM and the IDF.