Austere Challenge 2012

Austere Challenge 2012 is a bilateral air-defense exercise between the U.S. and Israel involving more than 3,500 U.S. personnel in Israel and Europe and approximately 1,000 Israel Defense Forces personnel in Israel. The exercise, which began Oct. 21 and will last approximately three weeks, has been in planning for more than two years as part of a long-standing agreement between U.S. European Command and the Israel Defense Force to hold bilateral training exercises on a regular basis.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin, U.S. Third Air Force Commander, is the senior AC12 US commander in Israel for the exercise. Israel Defense Forces Brig Gen Nitzan Nuriel is the IDF's lead exercise planner for AC12. Together Oct. 17, they conducted a phone-in interview with more than 70 international journalists (transcript).

Austere Challenge 2012 Fact Sheet (.pdf, 128 KB)

10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command (.pdf, 484 KB)

More photos of exercise events are available here.

Related Topics

A Hungarian Special Forces Medic, right, directs the evacuation of a simulated casualty to safety to his Romanian SOF medic counterpart during the Field Training Exercise as part of the Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) course held in Udbina, Croatia. 
U.S. Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) developed and conducted the TCCC Train-the-Trainer course to enhance the SOF capability and interoperability of SOF medics from eight NATO and partner nations, but most importantly, to incorporate one recognized standard for managing trauma on the battlefield. (U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Donald Sparks, SOCEUR Public Affairs Officer  â? photo approved for public release by Master Sgt. Donald Sparks, SOCEUR PAO).

Ready Forces

VAZIANI TRAINING AREA, Republic of Georgia-In front of a color detail with the national colors of America and the Republic of Georgia and the unit colors of the U.S. Marine Corps and Georgian military, Maj. Eric J. Andersen, executive officer Black Sea Rotational Force 11 and Kent, Wash., native,  â?forms the troops for the opening ceremony of Exercise Agile Spirit 2011, marking the official start of what is scheduled to be an annual training event with the partner nation. Marines with Alpha Company of Anti-Terrorism Battalion, and 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion deployed to Georgia for their annual training to supplement the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force deployment of BSRF-11, to conduct counterinsurgency and peacekeeping operations training at Vaziani Training Area. , Cpl. Tatum Vayavananda

International Cooperation

Flag of Israel


MORAG, Poland -- A member of Moraggâ?s local TV station along with a group of other people from Morag watch as Soldiers from Alpha Battery, 5th Battalion 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, U.S. Army Europe, conduct railhead unloading operations here, May 24. Although no actual missiles were shipped, this is the first time a U.S. missile system has come to Poland for a new training program intended to familiarize Polish armed forces on the Patriot Missile system. The training is designed to provide mutual benefits for improving Polish defense capabilities while developing U.S. patriot crew members and batteries. This type of mutual training helps to expand U.S. and Poland air and missile defense cooperation while strengthening the partnership between the U.S. and Poland. The official opening of the training hosted by Polish officials, the U.S. Ambassador to Poland and USAREUR is scheduled for May 26 in Morag. (U.S. Army Europe photo by Sgt. Daniel J. Nichols)

Ballistic Missile Defense

Capt. Barbara Bujak, physical therapist at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, speaks in her native tongue, Polish, with members of Multinational Battle Group East's Polish Contingent and European Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo. Bujak, who was born in Poland, moved to the U.S. at age 11 and joined the U.S. Army five years ago. Bujak's temporary assignment at Camp Bondsteel allowed her to experience a familiar ceremony in a new location.

Military-to-Military Engagement Program

Media Releases RSS

Blog Posts

Public affairs representatives from the United States and the Israeli
Defense Forces discuss planning details prior to a press conference October 24, 2012. October 25, 2012Austere Challenge 2012: Meeting and Working with our Israeli Public Affairs CounterpartsOur Combined Public Information Center team here includes EUCOM public affairs officers (PAO) and PAOs from the Joint PA Support Element from Norfolk, Va.
More Blog Posts >


November 14, 2012Exercise Austere Challenge 2012 concludes US European Command and the Israel Defense Forces successfully concluded Austere Challenge 2012 Tuesday, a large-scale air defense exercise that included both field training and command post simulations.
Air Force Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin, U.S. Third Air Force Commander, the senior AC12 US commander in Israel for the exercise, and Israel Defense Forces Brig Gen Nitzan Nuriel, the IDF's lead AC12 exercise.October 18, 2012US, Israel prep for largest ballistic missile defense bi-lateral exerciseSenior leaders for the exercise Austere Challenge 2012 announced the arrival of U.S. troops and equipment in Israel for the event and provided background to reporters via telephone Wednesday from Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
More Articles >