by Tech. Sgt. Patrick Mitchell
USAFE-AFAFRICA Public Affairs
6/2/2015 - NEVATIM, Israel -- More
than 350 U.S. service members participated in two-week Exercise Noble
Shirley 2015 in Israel. The exercise was a routine training exercise
designed to promote cooperation and interoperability between the U.S.
Forces and Israel Defense Force. The main objective was to allow U.S.
Forces to work alongside their IDF counterparts, train together,
exchange ideas and share experiences in order to improve mutual
understanding and increase ability to respond to crises together.
U.S. European Command has a long-standing relationship with Israel and
regularly participates in bilateral exercises to improve collaboration
and understanding between the two nations. NS 15 involved U.S. service
members from all four branches of the military working hand-in-hand with
their IDF counter parts.
"The training difference was challenging, but it was a great opportunity
to learn other ways to train, and perform tactics, technic and
procedures," said Capt. Kevin Beyer, Headquarters and Headquarters
Company 173rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion Airborne ground force
The HHC 173rd BSTB Airborne soldiers also completed a 1,100ft. combat equipment jump during the exercise.
"The jump was special because we had an Israeli jump master on board so
we were able to earn Israeli jump wings," said Specialist Christopher
Jester, HHC 173rd BSTB Airborne combat medic.
The 37th Airlift Squadron out of Ramstein Air Base, Germany also played a
major role in NS 15. Aircrews from the 37th AS transported soldiers to
the drop zones in C-130J Super Hercules'. The crews also completed night
flights which consisted of low level flying, max effort assault zone
landings, container delivery system drops and the use of night vision
"This exercise gave us the ability to practice in austere landing
condition in a controlled environment," said Capt. Joe Eastman, 37th AS
With all the moving parts to an exercise this massive no wonder it was over a year in the making.
"Israel is a near peer in capability all the way down to the type of
aircraft, and we planned NS 15 for over a year to achieve this two-week
exercise," said Mr. Dave Watson, U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air
Forces-Africa exercise lead planner. "It's great to see it all come
The U.S. is committed to working together with other nations with
similar national security and regional stability goals to bolster
cooperation, friendship and understanding to address potential
challenges in the region. The Noble Shirley exercise series began in
1992, and U.S. Forces and the IDF have already begun working together to
plan the next exercise in the series to take place in 2017.
"I appreciated this unique opportunity to integrate and collaborate with
our training, and for the extensive cross talks," Beyer said. "This
training paves the way for future collaborations."