This week, 1,000 American troops traveled to Israel to participate in a joint military exercise with our closest friend and ally. The three-week defense exercise, known as Austere Challenge 2012, will test the ability of Israel's major missile defense systems, including Iron Dome, Arrow 2, and David's Sling, to counter a variety of simulated short and medium range ballistic missile threats.
Just in the past month, the State of Israel has endured multiple rocket attacks from Gaza, violence from Sinai militants along its border with Egypt, and a surveillance drone that was reportedly sent into its airspace by Hezbollah. Additionally, despite the U.S. sanctions targeted at Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Central Bank, Iran remains committed to pursuing its nuclear weapons program and continues to call for the destruction of Israel. During a time when the entire region is filled with increasing tension and volatility, the United States must support Israel more vigorously than ever before. I wish our troops the best as they work side by side with Israel in Austere Challenge 2012 over the next several weeks. We must make it clear to the world that our greatest ally is never facing its security challenges alone.
The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., recently held a panel discussion on the U.S.-Israel military relationship.
These issues and many others are at stake in this election. Thank you for what you are doing to support our great land. Early voting has already begun here in Georgia, so make sure to bring one of the required forms of photo identification, such as a driver's license or a valid U.S. passport, and exercise your right. Folks in the Seventh District can find their polling place right here on the Secretary of State's website.