Elite Israel Defense Forces naval commandos and the US Marine Corps last week conducted a joint military exercise in the Negev Desert aimed at preparing American forces for combating regional terror groups, including the Islamic State.
The “Noble Shirley” exercise involved units from Israel’s ground, air and naval forces, and focused on urban warfare and counterterrorism tactics.
The soldiers took part in simulated helicopter landings in enemy territory, tunnel warfare scenarios and extractions under fire, a Channel 2 TV report said Thursday.
Israeli commanders reportedly demonstrated IDF counterterrorism tactics to US forces to be used in the US campaign against the Islamic State and other jihadist groups in the Middle East.
Israeli commandos from the elite naval unit Shayetet 13 trained alongside the US Marines Corps Battalion Landing Team, the 6th Marine Regiment, and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit.
The exercise also tested the real-time response time of the joint US-Israeli missile defense systems, and the yet-to-be-completed David’s Sling missile interceptor system was deployed.
An IDF official participating in the drill said the system “performed very well.”
The US has either jointly developed or financed all three tiers in Israel’s missile defense program — Iron Dome (short-range missile interceptor), David’s Sling (medium range) and Arrow (long range).
Earlier in 2016, Israel hosted the Juniper Cobra drill, in which over 1,700 US servicemembers, civilians and contractors took part.