HATZOR AIR BASE, Israel – Some 5,000 American and Israeli troops are participating in a joint missile-defense exercise, preparing for the threat of attacks from across the region.
The "Juniper Cobra" exercise began March 4 and is taking place in Israel over several weeks. It includes field exercises, computer simulations and live-fire drills.
Israel has made missile defense a top priority. Enemies in Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and Iran all possess arsenals capable of striking deep inside Israel.
Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich, chief of Israel's air defense command, said Wednesday the drills will simulate "very complex scenarios" that include simultaneous attacks from various adversaries.
Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, who is commanding the U.S. troops for the exercise, says American forces are prepared to deploy to Israel, and that the exercise is an opportunity to improve coordination.