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By Capt. Janeen Phelps
143d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)
U.S. Army sustainers with the 1st Theater Sustainment Command’s Operational Command Post provided logistics support to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility during the bilateral military exercise held between the U.S. and Israel militaries known as Juniper Caracal 2023, held in May 2023.
The Juniper exercise series, including Juniper Oak 23-2, and Juniper Falcon 23-2 which were completed in earlier this year, are designed to enhance interoperability between both nations’ militaries and ensure U.S. and Israeli forces are ready and prepared to respond to any contingency, particularly those involving ballistic missile defense or crisis response.
Col. Gerry L. Jackson, 1st TSC alternate command post director, explained how this exercise demonstrates the long-standing commitment and cooperation between Israel and the United States.
“Our partnership with Israel is key. The Juniper Caracal exercise helps strengthen our partnership and our working relationship with Israel,” said Jackson.
The exercise was planned by members of both the 1st TSC and IDF and consisted of participants from the 673d Quartermaster Company mortuary affairs team and the 730th Quartermaster Company transportation team. These teams conducted a convoy operation and a demonstration of combat readiness by showcasing the capabilities of a mobile integrated remains collection system.
The MIRCS is a self-contained shelter with four main areas: a receiving and processing area, a refrigerated storage area for remains, an administrative area, and a storage section for operational supplies. It consists of all components necessary to deploy, move and operate in support of a full spectrum of military and peacetime disaster support. It can be transported via land or by air.
Sgt. Maj. Lachelle Wiggins, the Juniper Caracal noncommissioned officer in charge, said that she was pleased with the success of the exercise.
“As we build our partnership with the IDF, it is these positive interactions that generate readiness and build trust in our capabilities as technically and tactically proficient professionals,” stated Wiggins.
The Juniper exercise series serves as an opportunity for U.S. military personnel and the IDF to exercise together and to learn from one another. JC23 represents another step in the deliberate and strategic relationship between the U.S. and Israel and contributes to overall regional stability.
U.S. ARMY RESERVE
DEPT. OF DEFENSE
U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND
DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY
BEST WARRIOR COMPETITION