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US, Egyptian armed forces combine for Bright Star 2017

U.S., Egypt kick off Exercise Bright Star 2017

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Jon Mott, U.S. Central Command exercises director, sits alongside Egyptian Maj. Gen. Khaled Khairy, Bright Star 2017 exercise director for the Egyptian armed forces, during the Bright Star 2017 opening ceremony, Sept. 10, 2017, at Mohamed Naguib Military Base, Egypt. The bilateral training targets strengthening military-to-military relationships between U.S. forces and its Egyptian partners in the CENTCOM area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Battles)

U.S., Egypt kick off Exercise Bright Star 2017

U.S. Army Maj. Frank Hooker, U.S. Central Command Bright Star 2017 exercises planner, gives opening remarks during the Bright Star 2017 opening ceremony, Sept. 10, 2017, at Mohamed Naguib Military Base, Egypt. The bilateral training targets strengthening military-to-military relationships between U.S. forces and its Egyptian partners in the CENTCOM area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Battles)

MOHAMED NAGUIB MILITARY BASE, Egypt (AFNS) -- More than 200 U.S. service members are participating alongside the Egyptian armed forces for the bilateral U.S. Central Command Exercise Bright Star 2017, Sept. 10 – 20, 2017, at Mohamed Naguib Military Base, Egypt. 

Bright Star is a combined command-post and field-training exercise aimed at enhancing regional security and stability by responding to modern-day security scenarios with the Arab Republic of Egypt. A senior leader seminar will be held in conjunction with the training. 

“Bright Star has been the leading engagement between the United States and Egypt to collectively address the common interest we share in combatting regional challenges,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Jon Mott, CENTCOM exercises director. “It is through exercises like Bright Star that bring our militaries together and allow us to build trust, strengthen partnerships and enhance our capabilities.”

The bilateral training aims to strengthen military relationships between U.S. forces and its Egyptian partners in the CENTCOM area of responsibility. Additionally, the goal of Bright Star 2017 is to grow regional security and cooperation, and promote interoperability in conventional and irregular warfare scenarios. 

During Bright Star 2017 service members from both countries will participate in a command-post portion consisting of a scenario based on unconventional forces conducting operations against coalition forces. The field-training exercise will focus on tactical interdiction processes for both militaries. 

“This exercise manifests the bonds of cooperation and friendship that connects our countries and armed forces, as well as emphasizing the mutual interest in the framework of countering terrorism and maintaining international peace and security,” said Egyptian Maj. Gen. Khaled Khairy, Bright Star 2017 exercise director for the Egyptian armed forces. 

Khairy also stated the exercise allows both counties to work in a collaborative environment. 

“This environment enables us to break barriers of training, communication, capabilities and work together in an appropriate environment,” Khairy said. “This exercise also helps in exchanging expertise, increasing understanding and the ability of joint cooperation, so that we will be able to work together in countering terrorism and maintaining international peace and security, to set an international example.”

The senior leader seminar will serve as a forum to discuss best practices regarding counter-insurgency, border control and opposing foreign terrorists. 

Started in 1981, Bright Star builds on the strategic security relationship between the U.S. and Egypt, a partnership that supports counterterrorism, regional security and efforts to combat the spread of violent extremism. 

“Bright Star is an excellent opportunity to improve our ability to partner at the operational level and identify best practices in countering asymmetric threats,” Mott said. “I’m very much looking forward to the opportunity to work with [our Egyptian partners] as we collectively learn from and share valuable lessons with each other throughout this exercise.”

Bright Star was last held in 2009 with more than 15 countries and 15,000 participants.

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