July 28, 2023
Release Number 20230728-01
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TAMPA, Fla.– From July 27-28, General Michael “Erik” Kurilla, commander of U.S. Central Command, traveled to Egypt and met with Lieutenant General Osama Askar, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces and his staff in Cairo, and Commander of the 2nd Egyptian Field Army, Major General Staff Mohammed Abd El Rahmman Rabie at the Rafah border crossing in the northern Sinai.
The trip focused on shared security concerns, including border security; enhanced partnered training, including the upcoming BRIGHTSTAR 23 exercise; and opportunities to reinforce the long-standing U.S. and Egypt military partnership.
During their meeting, General Kurilla expressed gratitude to Lieutenant-General Askar for Egypt’s continued leadership in regional security issues and their role during the recent non-combatant evacuations from Sudan.
With next month’s BRIGHTSTAR being the largest in many years, General Kurilla and Lieutenant General Askar covered the final preparations for the exercise. The two leaders placed special emphasis on the live fire and planning events that include over 7,000 military members from 33 countries. “The growth of the BRIGHTSTAR Exercise is key to improving the interoperability between CENTCOM forces, Egypt’s Armed Forces, and all the other regional forces participating,” said General Kurilla. “Egypt’s leadership is critical to security in the region.”
The leaders also discussed the continued efforts to improve security of the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip with a particular importance on the Rafah border crossing.
On July 28th, General Kurilla traveled to the Rafah Border Crossing in the northern Sinai where he met with the Major General Staff Rabie, Commander of the 2nd Egyptian Field Army. The two commanders visited multiple facilities at the crossing site and walked to the border crossing gate discussing current capabilities and upcoming improvements to the crossing.
“The frank and candid discussions we have with Egypt are the hallmark of the close mil-to-mil relationship we have,” said General Kurilla. “Our mutual desire for stability in the region is the foundation of our 30-plus year military mutual support.”