Indian Army to participate in largest ever joint military exercise in Middle East
The Indian Army joins the 34-nation Bright Star-23 exercise in Egypt with 549 personnel. The exercise is aimed at enhancing regional partnerships amongst nations
An Indian Army contingent will be part of a multinational tri-services joint military exercise called 'Bright Star-23' in the Middle East. To take place in Egypt, the event is scheduled to be conducted from 31 August to 14 September at Mohamed Naguib Military Base.
The Indian defence ministry has confirmed that 34 countries will participate in the exercise, making it the largest-ever joint military exercise in Middle East and North Africa region.
The defence ministry says that this is for the first time that the Indian Armed Forces are participating in exercise Bright Star, with a total strength of 549 personnel. The Indian Army is being represented by a contingent from the 23 battalion of the Jat Regiment.
Defence ministry sources say that a contingent comprising of 137 personnel departed for Egypt on 28 August.
Bright Star is a multinational tri-services joint military exercise that will be led by the US CENTCOM (Central Command) and the Egyptian Army. It was initially conceptualised as a bilateral biennial training exercise between the US and Egypt during the Camp David Accord of 1977.
The first edition of the exercise was conducted in the year 1980 in Egypt. From 1995 onwards, the exercise was expanded for participation by other nations. The last Bright Star exercise was conducted in the year 2021, wherein forces of 21 countries had participated.
The exercise this year will include a large number of training activities focused on combating emerging unconventional threats and enhancing regional partnerships amongst participating nations, with an overarching aim to 'maintain world peace'.
In addition to the various field and situational training exercises, exercise Bright Star-23 will also include a combined arms live-firing exercise based in a tactical setting.
A panel discussion on contemporary topics is also planned to be conducted, including on cyber security, for which the Indian armed forces are the lead unit.
The exercise will provide a unique opportunity to the Indian Army to share best practices and experiences with other national armies, besides enhancing defence cooperation.
The Indian Army looks forward to an enriching professional experience from the exercise, the official added.