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U.S., Israel to hold anti-missile drill in fall: Pentagon

(Xinhua)

13:51, September 05, 2012

WASHINGTON, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- The United States and Israel will hold a delayed ballistic missile defense exercise in late fall to underscore the strong military relationship between the two allies, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

The drill, code-named Austere Challenge 12, is a major exercise that provides important training for the defense of both nations, and is "a tangible sign of our mutual trust and defense of our two nations," Pentagon spokesman George Little told a news briefing.

The joint exercise, which was requested by Israeli defense ministry to be moved from May to late fall, remains the largest of its kind between the two nations, Little said.

"The exercise has not changed in scope and will include the same types of systems as planned," he said. "All deployed systems will be fully operational with their associated operators, including the missile interceptors."

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