Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the country’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant visited the Israel Air Force control center to observe the Juniper Oak 23 exercises.
In the company of senior military officials, Netanyahu and Gallant witnessed live-fire exercises carried out by the Israeli and US Air Forces. Likewise, “they were informed both of the activity of the air, land and naval forces in the exercise, as well as of the joint training with the US Army,” reads the statement issued on January 25 by the prime minister’s office.
“This exercise expresses the unbreakable strategic partnership between Israel and the US, and constitutes a further stage in building the Israeli military force,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying by the report.
“Israel will always defend itself with its own forces but, of course, welcomes ever deeper cooperation with our greatest ally,” he added.
In turn, Gallant maintained that the cooperation between both Armies “is a welcome step that improves and increases the capabilities of the defense system.”
The joint drills between the US and Israeli Armed Forces began on Monday and were described by a senior North American Defense official as the “most significant” in their history.
About 6,500 US troops and more than 1,100 Israelis are participating in the exercises.
Juniper Oak 23 includes the deployment of 142 aircraft. Of them, a hundred are American, among which are 45 fighters, four bombers, four combat planes and two drones. A total of 12 warships are also taking part in the drill, which is reportedly intended to send Iran a message about Israel’s and the US’s military capabilities.