US Marines hold joint 10-day-long drill with Israeli military
Intrepid Maven exercise aimed at ‘enhancing collaboration and cooperation’ with allied nations in Middle East, says chief of Marine Corps Central Command
Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.
Troops from the United States Marines are holding a 10-day-long joint exercise with the Israel Defense Forces in Israel that started this week. The drill, dubbed Intrepid Maven, began Sunday and is slated to last through March 1.
According to the US Marine Corps Forces Central Command (MARCENT), some 200 marines and sailors joined IDF infantry and artillery units during the exercise.
The drill was the sixth in a series of US Marine drills — all using the Intrepid Maven name — held with allied nations in the Middle East.
“This is a great opportunity for our Marines and Sailors to work alongside our Israeli Defense Force counterparts,” said Maj. Gen. Paul J. Rock Jr., commander of MARCENT.
“The very purpose of our Intrepid Maven exercise series is to enhance collaboration and cooperation with partners. Our actions support the National Defense Strategy priority of developing key partnerships, and reflect both our enduring commitment to Israel as a new MARCENT partner and our mutual desire for regional stability,” he said.
“At the troop level, it’s just a great opportunity for enhanced training, cultural exposure and, ultimately, improved unit readiness,” Rock added.
There was no immediate statement from the IDF on the drill.
Images published by MARCENT showed Marines holding live-fire drills, and fitness training with Israeli soldiers.
Last week, the IDF wrapped up a joint drill with the US Central Command (CENTCOM), focused on air defense, cyber security, intelligence and logistics.
The drill, dubbed Juniper Falcon, was the second in a series of major joint exercises the IDF was to hold with CENTCOM in 2023.
The first was January’s major Juniper Oak drill, the largest-ever joint exercise held by the Israeli and American militaries.
Israel regularly conducts various training drills with the US military in the country, including air force exercises and missile defense drills.
Last year, then-IDF chief Aviv Kohavi said joint activities with the US military in the Middle East would be “significantly expanded” in 2023.