152nd Air Operations Group Visits Israel

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Barbara Olney
  • 174th Attack Wing

HANCOCK FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, SYRACUSE, NY -- For over a decade, airmen from the 152d Air Operations Group have been integral to the security relationship between Israel and the United States.

Each year over 20 airmen from Hancock Field travel to Israel in support of the annual JUNIPER exercises.

“We maintain 20 people trained, and ready to go all the time, “Col. Patrick Cox, 152d Air Operations Group, said.

These exercises are held to increase cooperation between the Israel Defense Forces and forces from U.S. European Command.

Capt Eric Chapman, 152nd Operations Officer and Chief Master Sgt. Toby French, Senior Enlisted Leader 152nd Combat Operations Squadron recently traveled to Hatzor Air Base in Israel to discuss planning and preparations for the upcoming 2023 JUNIPER exercise with their Israeli counterparts.

“The Juniper Series are bi-lateral exercises where we perform duties to support defense to Israel and the non-combatant evacuation of American citizens from Lebanon.” Chapman said.

The Juniper Series exercises are divided into two categories. Each exercise has a specific function and are performed on alternate years. These events help enhance readiness between the U.S. and Israel.

JUNIPER COBRA exercises United States military support to the defense of Israel and emphasizes the interoperability between U.S service components across two combatant commands with the Israel Defense Forces.

JUNIPER FALCON exercises the initial notification and deployment of forces into theater.

This year, U.S. Central Command will assume the lead for this vital bi-lateral event and 152d AOG airmen will continue to provide
knowledgeable and qualified airmen to be the primary liaison between the Air Forces of the United States and Israel.

“Over many years 152d AOG airmen have become integral to coordination between the Israeli and U.S. armed forces, this close cooperation and experience will pay off when events require us to work together during a crisis”, explained Chief French.