Israel: Joint US-Israel Military Exercise Postponed
The large-scale “AC12” joint anti-missile exercise has been postponed, as sources indicate that Israel is seeking to avoid increasing regional tensions:
Israel and the US have decided to delay the date of the large-scale joint military exercise planned to take place in February. Israel’s Army Radio reported that there are deliberations between the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the US concerning the anti-missile defense exercise, Austere Challenge 12.
Defense sources are claiming that one of the reasons for a possible delay is the concern that it would generate ‘unnecessary headlines’ during an already tense period.
The delay may also be caused by budgetary restraints, as an exercise of this magnitude would require a significant financial, manpower, and time investment.
Approximately 5,000 soldiers from the US Army and the IDF were supposed to take part in the planned exercise—the largest cooperation between the two armies to date.
The IDF denied a connection between the exercise and growing tensions with Iran and the West, Iran’s military maneuvers, and their conflict with the US over the Strait of Hormuz - adding that the exercise had been planned for some time.
The Israeli Ministry of Defense responded by saying that the subject of the exercise has been present in talks between Israel and the US, and that a decision concerning the exercise has yet to be made.
During the exercise, the forces were to have simulated a ballistic missile assault and test Israel’s anti-missile defense systems.