Face-off with Iran? American and Israeli armed forces prepare for war

Fighter jets from both countries will simulate long-range flights and striking distant targets, increasing readiness for combat scenarios with Iran.

By World Israel News Staff

The Israel Air Force and the United States Air Force will hold the largest joint aerial exercise in years, simulating strikes against Iran’s nuclear program and mid-flight refueling.

The two-day drill will commence on Tuesday and take place over the Mediterranean Sea and Israel. Fighter jets from both countries will simulate long-range flights and striking distant targets, increasing readiness for combat scenarios with Iran.

The Israel Defense Forces and the American military’s Central Command have conducted several joint drills over recent years.

In July of this year, President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Yair Lapid signed a Joint Declaration on the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership – also known as the Jerusalem Declaration.

The declaration stresses the U.S. commitment “never to allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, and that it is prepared to use all elements of its national power to ensure that outcome.”

The joint drill was the subject of meetings in Washington last week between IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi and U.S. officials, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, and CENTCOM Commander Gen. Michael Kurilla.

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While there, Kochavi was awarded the Legion of Merit by the U.S. Armed Forces in recognition of his achievements in “establishing Israel’s position as a leader of groundbreaking operational capabilities in the Middle East,” and strengthening the Israeli-American strategic alliance, a statement from the military said.

Kochavi was also recognized for stewarding the U.S.-Israeli military-to-military relationship through a transition period, as U.S. European Command handed over its geographic combatant command responsibility for Israel to U.S. Central Command, which oversees operations and regional cooperation in the Middle East.

Some NIS 3.5 billion ($1 billion) has been earmarked from the IDF’s NIS 58 billion ($17 billion) defense budget for the next year military activity relating to combating Iran.

Outgoing Defense Minister Benny Gantz earlier this month warned Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu to think “very carefully” before striking Iran.

“Israel has the ability to act in Iran. We have the readiness, development capabilities, and long-term plans we are managing. We need to prepare for this possibility, and we will also need to consider this issue very carefully before carrying it out,” he said.