The U.S. Marine Corps and elite Israeli naval commandos held a joint military exercise to showcase and practice techniques used in the fight against the Islamic State and other terrorist groups, Israeli media reported on 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 unearthing attack tunnels. Participants included commandos from the Israeli Navy’s Shayetet 13 unit, as well as the Marine Corps’ Battalion Landing Team, the 6th Marine Regiment, and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit.
Israeli commanders also demonstrated counter-terrorism tactics used by their forces to combat regional jihadist groups, which can be employed by the American troops in the fight against the Islamic State, according to Israel’s Channel 2.
Earlier this month, the U.S. and Israel conducted  a joint drill to ensure that both countries’ missile defense systems can work in sync. In February, the two nations participated  in the biennial 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.”
The countries also held  their biennial Blue Flag joint air exercises in Israel last October.
[Photo: Israel Defense Forces / Flickr ]