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In a March, 2016 file photo, U.S. military and Israeli Defense Forces personnel mark the conclusion of the most recent Juniper Cobra exercise at Hazor Air Force Base, Israel.
In a March, 2016 file photo, U.S. military and Israeli Defense Forces personnel mark the conclusion of the most recent Juniper Cobra exercise at Hazor Air Force Base, Israel. (Matty Stern/U.S Embassy Tel Aviv)

More than 2,000 U.S. troops will take up positions in Israel next month for a missile defense exercise designed to test the ability of American and Israeli systems to operate together.

U.S. European Command and the Israeli Defense Forces will take part in the combined drills known as Juniper Cobra from March 4-15.

“The Juniper Cobra exercises continue to strengthen this relationship, providing us with the opportunity to bolster interoperability and develop seamless integration with our Israeli partners,” said U.S. Third Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, who also serves as the commander for the deploying Joint Task Force-Israel.

The exercise will involve more than 2,500 U.S. personnel, operating both ashore and afloat, EUCOM said. A similar number of IDF personnel also will take part in the exercises.

Juniper Cobra, a longstanding exercise involving the two militaries, is conducted every two years.

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