By ROBERT BURNSAP National Security Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - The top U.S. military officer says the U.S. and Israel will hold a major missile defense exercise in October.
The exercise Austere Challenge '12 was scheduled originally for April but was postponed amid growing talk of Israel preparing to attack Iran over its nuclear program. The odds of an Israeli attack in the near term appear to have lessened.
Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Army Gen. Martin Dempsey told reporters at the Pentagon on Friday that he is unfamiliar with exact details but that the postponed exercise is expected to take place in October.
The exercise is designed to test multiple Israeli and U.S. air defense systems against incoming missiles and rockets from places as far away as Iran.
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