A small Israeli Defense Force delegation arrived February 7, 2021, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, to participate in Exercise Juniper Falcon 2021, another step in the deliberate and strategic relationship between the U.S. and Israel, contributing to overall regional stability.
JF21 is part of a long-standing series of cooperative exercises with the IDF, focused on preparing for emergencies, crisis response, and contingencies as well as deter against possible threats to avoid future conflict.
“Juniper Falcon 21 is a demonstration of our strong commitment and long-standing military relationship with Israel,” said U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Steven Basham, who also serves as the commander for Joint Task Force-Israel. “Built over years of cooperation, our deliberate and strategic partnership allows us to continually develop the interoperability necessary to maintain and enhance Israel’s defensive capacity.”
The exercise this year was modified to be largely virtual, with minimal in-person participation due to the global pandemic. Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, both the U.S. and Israel are able to meet mutual training objectives.
"Juniper Falcon is part of a series of exercises between the U.S. Armed Forces and the IDF, highlighting the importance of our strategic cooperation. Air defense is a key part of our training and in this day and age and with the evolving threats around us, the importance of air defense increases even more,” said Commander of the IAF Air Defense Division, Gen. Ran Kochav.
“It was important for us to meet physically and to train shoulder- to- shoulder while adapting our way of training to the current health challenges and limitations. I would like to take this opportunity to convey our appreciation to the EUCOM command and especially to the JTF-I commander, Lt. Gen. Basham, and to Brig. Gen. Brady [JTF-I deputy commander] for their partnership and commitment to the mission.”
The health of our personnel, partners, allies and communities where we operate remain a top priority and we have taken precautions to ensure the U.S. and Israeli delegations are able to work together in a safe environment.
All exercise participants are taking appropriate COVID-19 mitigation measures in accordance with both Department of Defense and host nation regulations. Regional German health authorities approved the Israeli delegation’s entrance into Germany and local participation in JF21 as long as prescribed hygiene and ROM measures are adhered to.
We will continue to monitor conditions and adhere to health protection measures, while further enhancing coordination and interoperability with our Israeli partners.
U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) is responsible for U.S. military operations across Europe, portions of Asia and the Middle East, the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean. USEUCOM is comprised of more than 64,000 military and civilian personnel and works closely with NATO Allies and partners. The command is one of two U.S. forward-deployed geographic combatant commands headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.