Juniper Oak 23.2 is a bilateral military exercise designed to enhance interoperability between the U.S. and Israel militaries. Photo courtesy of the IDF Spokesperson's Office
Jan. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. Central Command reported a successful joint exercise with the Israeli Defense Force Thursday, calling it the largest exercise between the ally nations in history.
Juniper Oak 23.2 began Monday, putting both services to the test in an array of naval, air, ground and electronic-focused missions.
"Today the partnership between CENTCOM and the IDF is stronger and continues to grow," said Gen. Michael "Erik" Kurilla, CENTCOM commander, in a press release.
"Our partnership is a key pillar of our commitment to expanding regional security cooperation."
The joint exercise included both countries' most advanced equipment including long-range weapons, mobile rocket systems and more than 140 aircraft.
Perhaps the main event of the week was a live-fire exercise. This exercise combined every aspect of warfare -- land, sea and air -- into one mission. More than 6,500 U.S. personnel and 1,100 Israeli personnel were involved in this exercise.
"We at CENTCOM will take the lessons learned from Exercise Juniper Oak and share and incorporate them with all our partners across the CENTCOM region," Kurilla said.
The alliance between the United States and Israel dates back decades as the United States was the first country to recognize Israel's statehood in 1948. In 2017, then-President Donald Trump publicly recognized Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel. Israel and Saudi Arabia have also been allied with the United States against Iran in its pursuit of a nuclear stockpile.
"Israel has no greater friend than the United States," the State Department said in its bilateral fact sheet.
"Americans and Israelis are united by our shared commitment to democracy, economic prosperity, and regional security. The unbreakable bond between our two countries has never been stronger."