INTRODUCTION: The Egyptian Defence Minister, General Abu Gazala joined military observers at 'Operation Bright-Star' in the Western Desert near Cairo on Sunday (22 November).
G Egyptian defence minister arrives at exercise area
SV General Abu Gazala speaking
GV Aircraft on bombing runs (2 shots)
GV Troops disembarking from helicopters (2 shots)
GV Helicopter lowering jeep
SV Defence minister and other military officials watching
GV Apc's arriving, with troops disembarking (2 shots)
GV Troops moving across desert (2 shots)
GV Armoured vehicles
GV Aircraft flying over exercise area
CU General Gazala speaking
SEQ. 2: INTERVIEWER: "What do you consider to be the significance of Bright Star for Egypt?"
GAZALA: "We are going to, of course to, get out of it experience from the United States armed forces, 'cause you know you are a super-power and you want to help."
"It is a very good idea and we do like it and we hope it could continue for more and more and better exercises than that."
SEQ. 11: INTERVIEWER: "What have you learned from these exercises, so far?"
GAZALA: "WE do learn a lot and we are going to study everything, to evaluate everything and try to define some of our tactics, try to find some new equipment which could help us in our military, you know, progress."
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The Egyptian Defence Minister, General Abu Gazala joined military observers at 'Operation Bright-Star' in the Western Desert near Cairo on Sunday (22 November). The two weeks of American - Egyptian war games were designed to back up the pledge of the United States to protect friendly nations against external threats. The exercise was spearheaded by members of the U.S. Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) who described it as their most ambitious operation to date.
SYNOPSIS: Defence Minister, General Abu Gazala flew to the exercise area to join military attaches and advisers in viewing the manoeuvres. He also spoke the reporters.
Bright Star has combined the tactics of a surprise assault, backed up by aerial strikes. Rocket attacks and bombing runs have supported men of the U.S. 82nd airborne division who flew straight from their base in North Carolina to the Western Desert. A senior army officer said this demonstrated that American troops could go into action within 24 hours, anywhere in the world.
It's been a full scale operation, involving the crack parachute regiment and their support equipment -- including Jeeps. The airborne group has been linked to a 13-hundred strong mechanised infantry battalion, equipped with armoured vehicles. General Gazala and other military observers saw the task force going through its paces.
The M-60 tanks and hundreds of armoured personnel carriers were brought in by sea to the port Alexandria then travelled overland to the exercise area. Then they joined the main force which also consisted of four thousand Egyptian troops. The concept of the Rapid Deployment Force grew out of fears in Washington that the United States was unable to move quickly enough into crisis areas. This was during the time of the Soviet involvement in Afghanistan, which U.S. officials labelled as a first step towards control of the Arabian Gulf oil fields.
Several Middle East nations have denounced 'Operation Bright Star' as provocative and aggressive. The Foreign Ministers of Ethiopia. South Yemen and Libya called a special meeting to discuss the exercise. (15 November).
Supporting the manoeuvres, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said the main aim was to train his troops on advanced U.S. equipment and the exercise was not directed against any country.
Of special interest was the highly manoeuvrable American A10 Thunderbolt jets, which criss-crossed the battle field. Defence Minister, General Gazala was obviously impressed with the display.