HATZOR AIR FORCE BASE, Israel — More than 1,000 service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines are working together alongside Israeli troops during Juniper Cobra 2010 (JC10).
"This exercise is utilizing hundreds of people from different branches, all working together to maximize the outcome and continue to build on the relations with the Israeli military," said Navy Capt. Donna Joyal, joint task force manpower director. "Such a large scale exercise requires an equally massive amount of planning," Joyal continued. She credits much of the smoothness of the arrival due to the months of work completed prior to departing the respective home bases. "Training and preparedness truly equates to success." Everything had to be considered for any situation that may arise. From living quarters and work spaces, to recreation and transportation, all were essential to make the exercise the most productive experience possible.
"Planning something like this can be one of the hardest parts of the exercise," said Army 1st Lt. Matthew Hitchler, vice mayor of Camp Cobra. "Once everything is set up and ready to go, the exercise can start and hopefully run smoothly." At Camp Cobra, more than 40 living tents were set up to house all of the service members and their personal equipment. Eight shower trailers containing five showers were set up for the troops. A large dinning tent was built, capable of holding more than 300 people and outputting three hot meals per day for the troops.
In addition to the basics needed for living, the Army's 357th Air Missile Defense-Detachment (AMDD) assembled a Morale, Welfare and Recreation tent for the exercise participants to utilize on their limited down time. The tent has 10 laptops with Internet. This amenity gave the troops access to check personal email and work on continuing education efforts.
"One of the main reasons we set up all of these computers and hooked them up to the Internet was to make sure that anyone who is currently enrolled in school can continue to further their education even though they are out here supporting this exercise," said Army Spc. Jeffery Soria, mechanic supporting the 357th AMDD.
Two flat-screen TVs were also in the tent, allowing the playing of video games or just watching TV. "The TVs were set up so everyone could come in here out of the hot sun and relax after a hard day," said Soria. "It's important to have a place to come wind down after a day's work."
Any exercise or operation needs proper planning and extra thought to allow the service members to perform at optimum capacity, and JC10 is no exception. The Juniper Cobra exercises have been held every two years since 2001. JC10 is the fifth iteration of this exercise, with this year's focus on testing the active missile-defense capabilities of both U.S. and Israeli armed forces.