New Delhi, August 27
An Indian military contingent will participate in an exercise involving 34 nations being conducted in Egypt. An Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent departed today. Called the ‘Bright Star-23’, this is a biennial exercise being held in Cairo.
This is for the first time that the IAF is taking part in the exercise which will also see participation of contingents from the United States, Saudi Arabia, Greece and Qatar. The IAF contingent will consist of five MiG-29 jets, two IL-78 planes that can refuel the jets mid-air, two C-130s and two C-17 aircraft. Personnel from the IAF’s Garud Special Forces will participate in the exercise. The IAF transport aircraft will also airlift approximately 150 personnel from the Indian Army.
Egypt’s armed forces announced that some 8,000 troops from 34 countries were expected to participate in the two-week exercise. The aim is to enhance military cooperation and combat common threats and risks, according to an Army statement.
The IAF today said the objective of the exercise was to practice planning and execution of joint operations. Besides leading to the formation of bonding across borders, such interactions also provide a means to further strategic relations between participating nations.
India and Egypt have an exceptional relationship wherein the two jointly undertook development of aero-engine in the 1960s.
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