Hagel Arrives in Israel for Consultations, Troop Talk

By Claudette Roulo, American Forces Press Service

TEL AVIV, Israel, May 14, 2014 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived here today for the final stop of a multi-day trip to the Middle East.

Tomorrow, he is scheduled to meet with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and receive an overview of preparations for Juniper Cobra 14, an upcoming joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense exercise.

Juniper Cobra has been held every two years since 2001 and is intended to test the joint force’s ability to respond to a crisis involving a missile attack and humanitarian response, U.S. European command officials said.

Planning began 18 months ago, and the exercise is not linked to any specific tensions in the region, the officials said.

Following the overview, Hagel will speak to U.S. and Israeli troops participating in the exercise.

(Follow Claudette Roulo on Twitter: @rouloafps)