10:57 GMT +326 April 2018
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    Israeli soldiers walk near an Israeli Irone Dome defence system (L), a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, the MIM-104 Patriot (C), and an anti-ballistic missile the Arrow 3 (R) during Juniper Cobra's joint exercise press briefing at Hatzor Israeli Air Force Base in central Israel, on February 25, 2016. Juniper Cobra, is held every two years where Israel and the United States train their militaries together to prepare against possible ballistic missile attacks, as well as allowing the armies to learn to better work together.

    US, Israel Improve Coordination on Missile Defense, Mass Casualty Response

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    WASHINGTON 21 (Sputnik) - The United States and Israel armed forces concluded a joint exercise dubbed Juniper Cobra to boost coordination on ballistic missile defense and mass casualty response, the US European Command announced in a press release on Wednesday.

    "Juniper Cobra 2018 was cooperatively planned over the last year and a half and, though driven by the overall situation in the Middle East, the exercise was not related to any specific real-world events," the release said. "[A]fter several weeks of robust training between US and Israel military personnel on shared capabilities and interoperability via computer simulations and live-scenarios," the release said.

    The European Command pointed out that more than 2,500 US personnel and 2,000 Israeli personnel participated in Juniper Cobra.

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    "Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and civilians took part in a wide array of joint training opportunities in various locations throughout Israel, ranging from mass casualty response to ballistic missile defense," the release said.

    The European Command explained the exercise was conceived to sharpen joint operations and interoperability between the US and Israeli armed forces.

    "The United States and Israel have a steadfast military-to-military relationship built on trust developed over decades of cooperation," EUCOM commander Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti said in the release.

    Scaparrotti also said the US military values the relationships it has forged with the Israeli Defense Forces and will continue to work alongside them to promote stability throughout the region.

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    ballistic missile, drills, military exercises, Israel, United States
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