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Royal Air Force conducts exercise in Egypt for first time in twenty years


Royal Air Force (RAF) 's Typhoons currently deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean have taken part in the first exercise for 20 years with the Egyptian Air Force flying over Egypt.

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Royal Air Force conducts exercise in Egypt for first time in twenty years Exercise BRIGHT STAR is hosted in Egypt every two years and is run in cooperation with the United States Air Force.  This iteration took place in the North West of Egypt with the aim to test UK and partner forces interoperability (Picture source: RAF)


The Typhoons currently deployed as part of 903 Expeditionary Air Wing joined Egyptian Air Force F-16s during Exercise BRIGHT STAR. This was the first time since 2001 that the RAF have flown with the Egyptian Air Force. The Typhoons were also joined on the exercise by F-16s from the Greek Air Force and US Air Force F-15s and F-16s together with C-130 Hercules and B-52s.

"Exercises such as Ex BRIGHT STAR 21 are vital as we develop and maintain interoperability with our coalition partners if the RAF is to be truly effective on operations throughout the Middle East. Flying with other air forces requires extensive planning and the contributions of 903 Expeditionary Air Wing personnel have ensured that the exercise was safely and successfully completed." said Wing Commander ‘Dutch’ Holland, Commanding Officer 903 Expeditionary Air Wing.


Royal Air Force conducts exercise in Egypt for first time in twenty years 02 RAF Typhoons (Picture source: RAF)


Most of the participating aircraft flew from Cairo West Air Base, RAF Typhoons however flew from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. They were supported by an RAF Voyager, also from RAF Akrotiri, which provided air-to-air refuelling.

Exercise BRIGHT STAR is hosted in Egypt every two years and is run in cooperation with the United States Air Force.  This iteration took place in the North West of Egypt with the aim to test UK and partner forces interoperability.  The exercise was first held in 1980 to broker peace between Egypt and Israel, the most recent exercise before this year was held in 2018 as the 2020 exercise was cancelled due to COVID-19.


Royal Air Force conducts exercise in Egypt for first time in twenty years 03 Flying with other air forces requires extensive planning and the contributions of 903 Expeditionary Air Wing personnel have ensured that the exercise was safely and successfully completed (Picture source: RAF)