Arab forces arrive in Egypt - Still image from Youtube/Official channel of the Egyptian Ministry of Defense
CAIRO – 4 November 2018: Maneuvers dubbed "Arab Shield 1" were launched in Egypt after military troops and equipment of the five Arab countries participating in the exercise joined over the past days.
The five countries participating in the maneuvers that are set to last until November 16 include Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Jordan and Kuwait. The exercises aim at strengthening joint combat capabilities.
During the maneuvers, observed by Morocco and Lebanon, the forces of the five countries will be allowed to develop military relations, face challenges of mutual concern, and back efforts aiming at achieving security and stability in the region, according to Egyptian Army spokesman Tamer al-Refai.
The exercises, taking place at Mohammed Naguib military base, west of Alexandria, and joint Mediterranean training zones in air and sea, will help the five states' forces to gain experience in fighting in cities, and prepare them for possible joint military actions, according to Refai.
Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan and Morocco are all part of the military Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, which aims at supporting current 'legitimate' interim President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi, and at fighting the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen.
Forces of at least eight countries conducted the joint military exercise "Bright Star 2018" in Egypt from September 8 to 20.
Land, naval and air forces from Egypt, US, Greece, Jordan, Britain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Italy and France took part in the drills. Several countries, including Lebanon, Rwanda, Iraq, Pakistan, India, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, DR Cong, Chad, South Africa, Senegal and Canada, were invited to monitor the exercises.
The drills aimed to exchange expertise among participating forces, hone their skills, and develop operations and training mechanisms in combating terrorism, in addition to joint planning and management of military operations and training on confronting maritime security threats.
The Bright Star comes within the framework of joint drills, which the Egyptian Armed Forces conduct to promote military relations with sisterly and friendly states.
Defenders of Friendship 3
In October, Egypt hosted the joint drills “Defenders of Friendship 3" of Egyptian and Russian paratroopers, as part of the military cooperation between the two states.
The joint drills included over 400 paratroopers and 15 helicopters in addition to other aircraft and armored vehicles. Representatives of the defense ministries from numerous states including Greece, Cyprus, Serbia and Belarus were invited to observe the drills.
In 2017, the Egyptian paratroopers arrived in Russia to participate in "Defenders of Friendship 2017", hosted by the Russian Federation from September 9 to 22. The "Defenders of Friendship" training was carried out for the first time in Egypt in 2016.
Additional reporting by Egypt Today Staff, MENA