The new Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) of the United States military made its debut on foreign soil on Tuesday (18 November) when it began war games with the Egyptian army.
SV High-ranking U.S. officers and assistant Egyptian Defence Minister, General Abdul Ghaffar Hegazi, sitting in tent watching exercise at Wadi El-Natroun.
GV Helicopters hovering and men descending ropes over desert. (3 SHOTS)
TILT UP TO GV Aircraft flying overhead. TILT DOWN TO explosion in desert.
GV TILT DOWN Aircraft flies over and bomb explodes in desert. (3 SHOTS)
GV Helicopter hovering over bombing range.
GV Helicopters carrying jeeps.
GV Army personnel in desert. PAN TO helicopters landing. (2 SHOTS)
GV PAN Rocket flies across desert and hits target.
GV & PULL BACK Troops in line.
SV General Hegazi speaking with U.S. General Robert Raylor and reporters.
GV Two officers walk away from press conference.
TRANSCRIPT: HEGAZI: "And know how to shoot when the wind is blowing."
REPORTER: "What do the Egyptians have to learn, General?"
TAYLOR: "Well, I think General Hegazi can answer that better then I, but I think we exchange techniques. What we learn is techniques that come from our different backgrounds. We learn from them how to operate in the desert, of course. And they learn from us some of our new weapons, and some of our new techniques."
HEGAZI: "I think so."
REPORTER: "Do you want to see more of this kind of thing?"
HEGAZI: "Yes. It's very useful."
REPORTER: "What about weapons. Are you interested in American weapons, General?"
HEGAZI: "Of course. (INDISTINCT)."
REPORTER: "Specifically which weapons?"
HEGAZI: "I think the gunships (INDISTINCT) and the airplanes and the tanks and the guns."
REPORTER: "Thank you, Genera. Thank you, General."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The new Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) of the United States military made its debut on foreign soil on Tuesday (18 November) when it began war games with the Egyptian army. About fourteen hundred crack troops from all wings of the military service were to join the Egyptians in four days of manoeuvres near the desert oasis of Wadi El-Natroun in Egypt. The opening exercise was staged to demonstrate the American's power and special weaponry.
SYNOPSIS: After a few days of joint training, the Americans staged a mock battle using live ammunition. High-ranking U.S. and Egyptian officers watched as the special deployment unit went through its paces.
The troops have a strong back-up unit of helicopters and A-7 tactical strike aircraft. Troops scrambled down ropes. to be followed by heavy weapons and transport jeeps.
This Rapid Deployment Force grew out of a 1977 study which stressed the need for a joint task force to deal with isolated trouble spots such as the Middle East and the Gulf. President Carter created it eight months ago, and the force can now call on up to two hundred thousand men from all the armed forces. The Egyptian generals applauded from the sidelines as the ground support aircraft repeatedly dropped sticks of bombs on targets.
Because of increased tensions in the region, President Sadat was delighted to have his troops sharing these manoeuvres. The Americans were pleased to get some desert training, which included both living in and maintaining their equipment from, tents.
Things were running smoothly here, but the operation had begun tragically the previous week when an American C-141 military transport plane, ferrying equipment, crashed in the western desert, killing all 13 personnel aboard.
The Assistant Egyptian Minister of Defence, General Abdul Ghaffar Hegazi, and Major General Robert Taylor said the exercises were proving very worthwhile.
Following these, there were to be joint Egyptian-American exercises. U.S. officials estimated the operation would cost Washington about 25-million dollars.