MEDITERRANEAN SEA (WAVY) – The USS George H.W. Bush is one of the many ships taking part in the Juniper Oak 2023 exercise.

Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said during a briefing Tuesday that both the U.S. and Israel kicked off the exercise Monday, which consists of a live-fire exercise that will take place in both Israel and the Mediterranean Sea.

According to Ryder, Juniper Oak enhances the United States’ response to contingencies and underscores the U.S. commitment to the Middle East.

Images from the USS George H.W. Bush’s Twitter show the ship operating alongside the Israel Defense Forces during the exercise.

Ryder said that the Juniper Oak exercise is not focused on defeating one threat, but instead on the interoperability of U.S. and Israeli forces.