Photo for illustrative purpose. Image Credit: ISPR

Islamabad: Pakistan along with forces from 20 countries joined the Exercise Bright Star 2021 held in Egypt.

Pakistan Army, Navy and Air Force personnel participated in the drills for the first time since 2009. The exercise was held at Mohamed Naguib Military Base, Egypt, from September 2 to 17.

The participant countries included Pakistan, United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, and Nigeria, Sudan, Morocco, Kenya, Greece, Cyprus and Tanzania.

Egypt’s Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Minister of Defense General Muhammad Zaki and military officials from 20 countries including Pakistan’s Engineer-in-Chief Lt Gen Moazzam Ejaz and US CENTCOM director of exercises attended the closing ceremony of the exercise.

The two-week-long exercise was focused on enhancing the “capability to counter regional hybrid threats, strengthen regional stability by fostering combined force interoperability, joint force integration and enhance maritime security operations” Pakistan military statement said.

This year’s exercise evaluated each country’s ability to work together to address regional challenges across the land, air, sea and cyber domains.

The final phase of joint training included different aircraft, helicopters and tanks conducting the live-fire exercises. Multirole fighter jets carried out reconnaissance and aerial bombardment while anti-tank helicopters engaged and destroyed hostile targets, the official statement said.

The forces also carried out a Situational Training Exercise (STX), which included training against snipers, drones, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), as well as medical evacuation (medevac) and treatment and Command Post Exercises (CPX).

The ‘Bright Star 2021’, held regularly since 1980, is considered one of the most important joint training exercises that helps strengthen military relations among Arab and foreign countries to exchange experiences and develop the skills to maintain combat efficiency and improve the capabilities of participating countries to respond to a challenging situation.