Massive U.S. air assets being deployed to Israel in the next 10 days
October 12, 2012
Three-week defense exercise, postponed from spring, will be largest of its kind to date, simulate missile defense scenarios.
The US and Israel will commence the largest-ever joint air defense drill of its kind in Israel on October 21, an army source said on Tuesday.
The exercise, named Austere Challenge 12, was originally scheduled for last spring but was postponed due to regional tensions with Iran.
On October 14, large numbers of American soldiers are expected to begin arriving in Israel, where they will set up aerial defense positions on Israeli territory and on US Navy vessels off the Israeli coastline.
The three-week drill will simulate various missile defense scenarios, and is expected to end with a live-fire interception of a decoy incoming Patriot missile.
One of the objectives of the drill is to facilitate the rapid deployment of US missile defense systems to Israel and test their ability to operate in conjunction with Israeli defense systems during a conflict.
The IDF Spokesman’s Office said Tuesday that “the US and Israel hold regular joint exercises between the militaries.
These exercises are planned ahead of time and form part of the routine training program, aimed at improving mutual operations.”