United States Army Europe commander Lieutenant-General Mark Hertling announced that the United States and Israel “are looking to increase relations and to expand training” by holding one of their largest-ever joint exercises.
According to The Jerusalem Post’s Yaakov Katz:
Lt.-Gen. Mark Hertling, commander of the US Army in Europe, told The Jerusalem Post that the two armies will hold a massive ground forces exercise in Spring 2012 called ‘Austere Challenge,’ which will seek to increase inter-operability between the IDF and the US Army.
The drill, which is unprecedented in its size, will include the establishment of US command posts in Israel and IDF command posts at EUCOM headquarters in Germany - with the ultimate goal of establishing joint task forces for the event of a future large-scale conflict in the Middle East.
Shortly before Austere Challenge, scheduled for May, the EUCOM will also hold the Juniper Cobra missile defense exercise with the IDF, and include the Arrow 2 and Iron Dome as well as America’s THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) and the shipbased Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. The exercise is expected to include the actual launching of interceptors from these systems.
Katz also reported that Hertling and his Israeli Defense Forces counterpart, Major-General Sami Turgeman, recently spoke about the possibility of having IDF officers study at U.S. Army training schools in Germany along with the possibility of having American soldiers study at the IDF sniper school in Israel.
Click here to read Katz’s full article.