When needed, American Aerial Defense Forces are expected to arrive in Israel and assist in the missile defense mission. Recently, a mutual training exercise took place in which Israelis and Americans intercepted missiles from the northern and southern theatres, implemented conclusions from the JC training exercise and developed procedures to protect Israel

Tal Giladi | Translation: Ofri Aharon & Ohad Zeltzer Zubida

As part of the cooperation routine between the Israeli and American Active Defense Forces, a mutual exercise took place in which Israelis and Americans met and intercepted, inquired and strengthened their cooperation. The exercise that took place in the Israeli “Test Bed” war lab, which was developed by “Elbit Systems”, included American and Israeli interception systems and simulated war in all theatres.

The exercise maintains both sides’ fitness for mutual interception, so when the H-Hour comes and the Americans will report for duty and stand beside Israel in its missile defense mission, they will be one force working like a well-oiled machine. Alongside the mutual fitness, maintaining personal fitness in regard to the mission while emphasizing the timing of the commands transmitted via radio and the correct way to express oneself in light of the lingual challenge, was also realized in the exercise.

“The laboratory simulates the weapons systems so accurately that they look exactly like the systems in the field in the aspects
of display and ability, but are not operational and connected to a launcher. Here, we don’t need to stand down any operational interception system in order to train”, explained Maj. Liran, Head of the “Arrow” and Defense Systems Department in Aerial Defense HQ.

Intercepting Together

Photography: Tal Giladi

Together and Apart
As a part of the Israeli-American cooperation, many mutual exercises have been performed, while the American forces sat across the ocean and communicated technologically, in face to face video chats. This time, they all sat together in one room, a simple, technical detail, with a significant advantage. “Instead of the Americans sitting overseas, the control station will operate from IAF HQ while the ‘Arrow’, ‘Patriot’ and ‘David’s Sling’ batteries operate from dozens of positions all over the country – all controlled from one place. This way, we bring together all of the weapons systems and radars from optimal connectivity and also debrief our performance after every scenario in an effective fashion”, he explains. “We also learn a lot about ourselves from these mutual exercises and draw conclusions about out weapons systems and performance”.

Intercepting Together

Photography: Tal Giladi

Crucial Decisions
Debriefing is a significant element in the improvement of the cooperation no more than the exercise itself. In this exercise, the conclusions drawn from the “Juniper Cobra” exercise were implemented. “Following the JC, we developed a combat doctrine and added new procedures, such as a procedure that deals with targets that require split second reactions by the proper weapons system”, said Maj. Liran.

In the last ITB exercise, which was held in November, the “David’s Sling” system was integrated for the first time. This exercise was an opportunity for the Aerial Defense Division’s personnel to deepen their acquaintance with the new system which is expected to become operational in late 2016. In the current aerial defense reality, many weapons systems correspond in their abilities and as a result, their connectivity is a part of the agenda. “As there are more systems, our ability to correctly allocate a certain system to a certain target needs to improve”, stated Maj. Liran. “Deciding which system intercepts each target becomes crucial”.

Intercepting Together

Photography: Tal Giladi