The Commander of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) General Joseph L Votel, visited Egypt to observe US military forces and the Egyptian armed forces during exercise ‘Bright Star 2018’ at the Mohamed Naguib Military Base.
A Sunday press statement of the embassy said that during his visit, Votel met with senior Egyptian leaders to explore ways to enhance the strategic security relationship between Egypt and the US, a historic partnership, which plays a leading role in counterterrorism and regional security.
“Egypt is one of our most vital partners in the region,” Votel said, adding “the ‘Bright Star 18’ exercise promotes our vision of a more stable and prosperous region with increasingly effective governance, improved security, and trans-regional cooperation. CENTCOM sees this expanded joint exercise as vital to securing American and Egyptian interests.”
About 800 US military service members will participate in ‘Bright Star’ for the second year in a row, since its resurgence at the invitation of the Egyptian armed forces, said the statement.
The focus this year will be on regional security and cooperation, as well as promoting interoperability in irregular warfare scenarios, added the statement, noting that participation in this exercise strengthens military-to-military relationships between US and Egyptian forces in the Central Command area of responsibility, as well as for other participating nations.
As a partner with Egypt, the US remains committed to supporting the Egyptian government and people through diplomatic, economic, social, and security cooperation.