Largest US-Israeli Exercise In History Concludes
By DoD News
By David Vergun
Thursday marked the conclusion of exercise Juniper Oak 23.2. This exercise was the largest U.S-Israel partnered exercise in history, said Deputy Pentagon Spokesperson Sabrina Singh, who held a news conference.
Juniper Oak integrated U.S. and Israeli fifth-generation fighter assets, which are the most advanced and capable, she said.
The USS George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, which participated in the exercise, involved command and control elements, rescue and refueling aircraft and live fire exercises with more than 140 aircraft, and roughly 6,400 U.S. troops alongside more than 1,500 Israeli troops.
Today, the U.S.-Israel military partnership is stronger than it ever has been, and it continues to grow, stated Army Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, commander of U.S. Central Command in a news release, while aboard the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier today.
“I’ve observed our forces alongside Israeli troops firing HIMARS and MLRS rockets, conducting maritime operations, executing highly complex flight operations, coordinating close air support, operating together on land, at sea and in the air,” Kurilla said, referring to the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System and Multiple Launch Rocket System.
Juniper Oak 23.2 integrated unmanned aerial vehicles, strategic bombers, jet fighters and precision fires. U.S. and Israeli forces conducted long-range strikes, suppression of enemy air defense, electronic attacks, offensive counter and air interdiction, and air operations in the maritime domain. In four days, these troops dropped more than 180,000 pounds of live munitions, Kurilla said.
Logistical support and the command nodes involving the two nations were superb, he added.
“It’s remarkable that Israel’s transition to and partnership with U.S. Central Command is less than 18 months old. Our shared achievement is a testament to the leadership of the Israel Defense Forces and the enduring commitment of the Department of Defense’s most senior leaders to increase military cooperation. Only through a firm commitment to this partnership are we able to plan and organize such an incredibly complex high-end operation across such a large geographic area integrating all aspects of warfighting, some of which are seen and some of which are not,” Kurilla said.
Separately, Singh said that this week, the Marine Corps will reactivate Camp Blaz in Guam, part of an agreement with the Japanese government to reposition Marines from Okinawa, as well as contribute to the overall integrity of integrated deterrence and bolster U.S. operational security in the Indo-Pacific region.
Camp Blaz will serve as a strategic hub and training area for joint forces, allies and partners in the region. “The Marine Corps has a deep history in Guam, and we are committed to continuing that strong relationship,” she added.