Just in time for a presidential election in which both candidates compete to be besties with Israel, the U.S. and Israeli militaries are holding a big, high-profile exercise to practice shooting Iranian missiles out of the sky. Only neither country wants to say the exercise is about either Iran or presidential politics.
Starting in late October, the U.S. and Israel will spend three weeks jointly testing the abilities of their Patriot missile batteries, Aegis ships, networked command systems and newer interceptors to prevent everything from rockets to armed drones to long-range ballistic missiles from hitting Israel from multiple locations. It'll be the closest operational look the U.S. has gotten thus far to Israel's new Iron Dome system to protect against short-range missiles and rockets. About 3,500 U.S. troops will participate in what Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin, commander of the U.S. Third Air Force, called "the largest exercise in the history of the longstanding military relationship between the U.S. and Israel."