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News | Sept. 8, 2023

Bright Star 2023 highlights the long-standing Egyptian-American ties

By Maged Benjamin-Elias USCENTCOM

TAMPA, Fla. - Exercise Bright Star 2023 began Aug. 31, 2023, at the Mohamed Naguib Military Base, Alexandria, Egypt. Jointly led by the Egyptian Armed Forces and those from the U.S. Central Command, Bright Star is the oldest multilateral military exercise in the Middle East and Africa first occurring in 1980. The biannual multinational exercise is designed to enhance interoperability among the 34 participating nations and support their ability to confront security and military challenges at regional and international levels. 

“Bright Star has long been an example of the military-to-military partnerships in the CENTCOM area of responsibility,” said Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, commander of U.S.
Central Command. “This year’s exercise demonstrates the strength of the U.S. Egyptian military cooperation and deepens the interoperability of all the partnering nations.”
This military exercise continues this historic partnership and plays a leading role in counterterrorism, regional security, and efforts to combat the spread of violent extremism.

Bright Star will continue until Sept. 14, this year focusing on subject matter expert exchanges, Command Post Exercises, and Field Training Exercises in the following disciplines:
- Counterterrorism and irregular warfare
- Planning and executing joint military operations on tactical and operational/strategic
- Planning and Conducting Common air operations
- Maritime security operations
- Securing international borders
- Integrated air and missile defense
- Joint tactical air control
- Cyber security operations 

Approximately 8,000 troops from participating nations are currently on Egyptian soil for Bright Star. The Egyptian Armed Forces provided more than 2,300 troops, and the U.S. provided approximately 1,500 service members. The other countries with troops on the ground during the exercise include: Cameroon, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Malawi, Pakistan, Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. The International Committee of the Red Cross and Egyptian police elements are also participating.

Additionally, the following countries are participating as observers: Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Republic of the Congo, Hungary, Japan, Nigeria, Oman, Poland, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and the United Arab Emirates.  Bright Star strengthens the long-standing defense cooperation partnership between Egypt and the United States. Large-scale exercises, such as Bright Star, improve security and stability across the CENTCOM area of operations and the African continent.