US and IDF terminate Exercise Juniper Cobra over coronavirus fears

6 March 2020 (Last Updated March 6th, 2020 10:47)

The US European Command (USEUCOM) along with the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has terminated the remaining portion of Exercise Juniper Cobra 20 (JC20) over coronavirus fears.

US and IDF terminate Exercise Juniper Cobra over coronavirus fears
USEUCOM and Israeli Defense Force terminate Exercise Juniper Cobra 20. Credit: US European Command.

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The US European Command (USEUCOM) and the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) have terminated the remaining portion of Exercise Juniper Cobra 20 (JC20) over coronavirus fears.

The announcement has been made in line with the recent Covid-19 guidelines issued by the Israeli Ministry of Health.

The precautionary measure is intended to protect the health of all participants in the exercise.

Juniper Cobra is a combined missile defence exercise originally planned to be conducted between 3 and 13 March in Israel.

USEUCOM said in a statement: “We appreciate the hard work that our IDF partners have put into making this exercise happen. We look forward to the next iteration of Juniper Cobra.”

The exercise is a biennial event that was first conducted in 2001. It is part of long-standing bilateral agreements between the nations.

JC20 is the tenth iteration of the exercise and is designed to enhance interoperability, build a strategic relationship and contribute to regional stability.

Approximately 2,500 US and 1,000 IDF personnel were set to take part in the drill.

The exercise usually involves computer simulations and live scenarios to allow USEUCOM and IDF to train together and learn from each other’s capabilities.

US Air Forces in Europe Africa deputy commander lieutenant general Steven Basham said: “The Juniper Cobra exercise is a visible demonstration of the strong and enduring military partnership between the US and Israel.

“This exercise will improve our combined ability to deter, and if needed, defend against missile threats by bolstering the integration and interoperability of our two forces.”