Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Israel, US due to stage joint military drills off Israeli coast

Israel, US due to stage joint military drills off Israeli coast
The US Marine Wasp-Class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima will arrive off the coast of Israel for the US-Israeli joint military exercise, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said Tuesday.

The ship will be manned by 1,400 marines, 1,100 navy sailors, 25 aircraft and three hovercraft.

The Israeli army said the Juniper Cobra 2018 exercise focuses on improving combined ballistic missile defense capabilities.

Simultaneously, additional exercises will be taking place in which 650 US marines will descend from the ship toward shore. 

The Juniper Cobra 2018 started on March 4 with the participation of 2,500 US troops routinely based in Europe and 2,000 Israeli Aerial Defense troops, logistics units, medical forces, and other IDF units.

These exercises are part of a bilateral training opportunity that enables US forces and the IDF to improve cooperation and mutual learning, said the IDF.

The Iwo Jima, out of Mayport, Florida, is currently assigned to the US sixth Fleet and conducts naval operations near Europe.

USS Iwo Jima

The Iwo Jima vessel possesses conveying capacities and the ability to operate various amphibious assault tools while maintaining a safe distance from shore.

In addition, the vessel has tools and systems that allow air crews and aircraft to land while sailing. The landing dock is approximately 257 meters long.

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