HATZOR AIR FORCE BASE, Israel — Approximately 70 sailors from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet arrived here, Oct. 25, in support of exercise Juniper Cobra 2010 (JC10).
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.
"Each exercise varies in focus and scope, and this year we are concentrating on combined air defense," said Capt. Mike Martin, U.S. Sixth Fleet's chief of staff.
The exercise will be divided into three phases: the first phase will be the deployment of U.S. forces, the second phase will be a simulation of attacks and the third phase will be a live-fire testing of the Patriot system. More than 1,000 U.S. service members from four branches of the military will participate in this year's exercise.
In addition to the service members operating around Israel, USS Higgins (DDG 76) will be operating in and around the port of Haifa, Israel.
"Israel is a strong ally of the United States and I look forward to the next several weeks of working together with our Israeli friends," said Navy Rear Adm. John M. Richardson, commander of JC10's joint task force and deputy commander of U.S. Sixth Fleet. "We will advance both the art and science of ballistic missile defense between our two forces and in the end, I am confident we will have a safe and successful Juniper Cobra exercise."