US and Israel complete Juniper Falcon 21-2 military exercise
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US and Israel complete Juniper Falcon 21-2 military exercise

30 Jul 2021 (Last Updated July 30th, 2021 11:56)

The exercise was a continuation of the first-ever virtual Juniper Falcon that was held in February this year.

US and Israel complete Juniper Falcon 21-2 military exercise
US Air Force personnel greeted by Israel Defense Forces Colonel Gershon Zlotnik, Israeli Task Force deputy commander, upon arrival in Israel to participate in Juniper Falcon 21-2. Credit: USAF / Tech Sgt Michael Battles.

The US European Command and the Israel Defense Forces have completed the latest iteration of the joint military exercise called Juniper Falcon 21-2.

The week-long drill was a continuation of the first-ever virtual Juniper Falcon that was held in February this year.

Juniper Falcon 21-2 was held at various locations in Israel and focused on honing emergency response and crisis response capabilities.

US European Command used two US Air Force C-130J Super Hercules from the 37th Airlift Squadron to deliver equipment and personnel to Israel for the exercise.

Juniper Falcon is conducted every two years to improve interoperability between the two military forces and ensure that they are capable to combat any contingency, particularly those related to ballistic missile threats.

US Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa deputy commander and Joint Task Force–Israel commander lieutenant general Steven Basham said: “The US has a long-standing and steadfast commitment to the people of Israel and their right to self-defence.

“We consistently train together so when our personnel and equipment hit the ground, we are fully integrated and ready to face a complex range of dynamic scenarios.

“Due to the global pandemic, we had to redesign how we come together to advance interoperability between our two forces. We are using lessons learned from the last year to improve the Juniper series, while keeping health and safety a priority.”

Earlier this month, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) re-established the 117th First Jet Squadron as a training squadron in the IAF’s F-35I ‘Adir’ Division. Initially, the squadron will focus on training IAF pilots to operate the F-35I.