Exercise Bright Star 2023 is currently underway at the Mohamed Naguib Military Base, Alexandria, Egypt, now through 14 September. Jointly led by the Egyptian Armed Forces and those from the U.S. Central Command, Bright Star is the oldest multilateral military exercise in the Middle East and Africa first occurring in 1980. The biannual multinational exercise is designed to enhance interoperability among the 34 participating nations and support their ability to confront security and military challenges at regional and international levels.

This military exercise continues this historic partnership and plays a leading role in counterterrorism, regional security, and efforts to combat the spread of violent extremism. This year’s iteration will focus on subject matter expert exchanges, Command Post Exercises, and Field Training Exercises in the following disciplines: counterterrorism and irregular warfare; planning and executing joint military operations on tactical and operational/strategic levels; planning and Conducting Common air operations; maritime security operations; securing international borders; integrated air and missile defense; joint tactical air control; and cyber security operations.

The Egyptian Armed Forces have provided more than 2,300 troops, and the U.S. provided approximately 1,500 service members. The other countries with troops on the ground during the exercise include: Cameroon, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Malawi, Pakistan, Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. The International Committee of the Red Cross and Egyptian police elements are also participating.

Additionally, the following countries are participating as observers: Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Republic of the Congo, Hungary, Japan, Nigeria, Oman, Poland, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and the United Arab Emirates.  

Bright Star strengthens the long-standing defense cooperation partnership between Egypt and the United States. Large-scale exercises, such as Bright Star, improve security and stability across the CENTCOM area of operations and the African continent.