Tomorrow morning (21 October 2012), a combined United States European Command (US EUCOM) and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) exercise, Austere Challenge 12, will begin. Austere Challenge 12 is the largest aerial defense exercise to take place between the two militaries.
These exercises are part of a planned training schedule that seeks to increase cooperation between the militaries. Planning for the exercise began over two years ago and is not a response to specific events in the region.
During the course of the exercise, EUCOM soldiers will be deployed in a variety of locations, including near civilian areas. Increased military activity may be noted and roads may be closed for short periods of time in order to ensure the safety of civilian vehicles. All EUCOM soldiers will depart Israel following the exercise’s conclusion.