The Indian Air Force, while sharing enthralling visuals from the ongoing BRIGHT STAR-23 in Egypt, posted a picture of an IAF IL-78 AAR aircraft refuelling an aircraft from the Egyptian Air Force.
While sharing the glimpses over the skies, the IAF described the exercise as “Bonds of friendship in the skies over Egypt.”
Exercise BRIGHT STAR-23, a biennial multilateral tri-service exercise, is being conducted at Cairo (West) Air Base, Egypt, from August 27 to September 16, 2023. The Indian contingent of 549 personnel is among the largest Indian deployments for an overseas exercise.
Ex BRIGHT STAR-23 is also witnessing the participation of contingents from the United States of America, Saudi Arabia, Greece, and Qatar, among others. This year, 34 countries will participate in Exercise BRIGHT STAR- 23. It will be the largest ever joint military exercise in the Middle East and North Africa region. This is the first time that the Indian Armed Forces are participating in Exercise BRIGHT STAR with a total strength of around 549 personnel.
The IAF’s involvement in international exercises is not merely a display of military capabilities in fact, such exercises are instrumental in strengthening diplomatic relations. As the statement released by the Defence Ministry also said, “IAF contingents to flying exercises abroad are no less than Diplomats in Flight Suits.”
The IAF’s participation showcases India’s commitment to strengthening strategic partnerships and enhancing joint operational capabilities. In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said, “The objective of the exercise is to practice planning and execution of joint operations. Besides leading to the formation of bonding across borders, such interactions also provide a means to further strategic relations between participating nations.”
India and Egypt have strong defence cooperation. Recent visits by India’s Defence Minister and Prime Minister to Egypt have further intensified this defence cooperation. The two countries have also enhanced their joint training with regular exercises between their armed forces.
As India continues to rise on the global stage, the IAF’s participation in multinational exercises like BRIGHT STAR-23 cements its status as a force for peace and stability.