The U.S. Marine Corps and elite Israeli naval commandos held a joint military exercise to practice and showcase anti-terror techniques and operations, Israeli media reported Thursday.
The exercise, called “Noble Shirley,” took place in Israel’s Negev desert last week and involved units from Israeli ground, air, and naval forces. The drills focused on both urban combat and counter-terrorism tactics, such as landing in enemy territory, rescuing troops under enemy fire, and combating terror tunnels. Participants included commandos from the Israeli Navy’s Flotilla 13 [SEALS] unit, as well as the Marine Corps’ Battalion Landing Team, the 6th Marine Regiment, and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit.
Israeli commanders reportedly demonstrated counter-terrorism tactics to be used by the American forces in the fight against the Islamic State and other regional jihadist groups.
Earlier this month, the U.S. and Israel conducted a joint missile defense exercise. In February, the two nations participated in the Juniper Cobra ballistic missile defense exercise, which was described as “a significant milestone in the strategic relationship between the two countries, a security alliance unmatched by any other country in the world” by Brigadier General Zvika Haimovich, who commands Israel’s aerial defense division.
Over 1,700 American soldiers and contractors participated in the drill. Maj. Gen. Mark Loeben, U.S. European Command’s director of exercises and assessments, said the exercise showed that “support for Israel’s defense has been an integral part of U.S. policy in the region.”