06:07 GMT26 July 2021
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    Coronavirus Puts Nations on Lockdown (264)

    Earlier in March, the two countries called off the cheduled joint exercise Juniper Cobra over concerns that it might facilitate the spread of the virus among the military.

    The Israeli and US Air Forces conducted joint drills called "Enduring Lightning" in southern Israel on 29 March, the IDF reported via Twitter. The two countries' forces used fifth-generation F-35 and F-35I fighter jets to practice engaging various air and ground-based targets.

    The IDF noted that the drills were planned in advance as a part of the 2020 exercise schedule, but were adapted to fit the new reality of the quarantine caused by the global coronavirus pandemic. The Israeli military noted that participants in the drill never met in person and the entire exercise was carried out in the air, to sageguard service personnel's health and well-being.

    The two countries earlier held another joint exercise between 24 and 26 March, which was carried out only in the air as well. The US and Israel previously cancelled the joint exercise Juniper Cobra 20 scheduled for March as "a precautionary measure to ensure the health and safety of all participants".

    Coronavirus Outbreaks in Israel and the US

    The US currently leads in terms of the number of COVID-19 infections with 122,653 cases reported by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention by 29 March with 2,112 fatalities. The Israeli Ministry of Health, in turn, reported 4,247 cases of coronavirus infection at least 405 of which were fatal.

    Both nations' militaries have also been affected by the novel coronavirus. At least 19 IDF soldiers were confirmed to have contracted the virus and over 1,000 quarantined over suspicions they had come in contact with those infected. The Pentagon has reported at least 280 cases of COVID-19 infection among its servicemen but recently stated it can withhold further information on the disease's spread among its ranks.

    Coronavirus Puts Nations on Lockdown (264)


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