Egypt, Russia's joint military drills to begin this week: Cairo

Ahram Online , Wednesday 12 Oct 2016

Sobhi and Shoigu
File Photo:Egypt's Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi and Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu during an official visit to Russia last September (Photo Courtesy of Egypt's army spokesman page on Facebook)

Egyptian and Russian paratroopers will conduct a joint military exercise on the Mediterranean coast in Egypt this month, the coutnry's military spokesman announced on Wednesday.

The military exercise, titled Protectors of Friendship 2016, will take place in the area of Al-Alamein, a coastal city a hundred miles west of Alexandria, from 15-26 October.

The drills will include the deployment of troops, equipment and vehicles, and the exchange of experiences between special forces.

Egyptian paratroopers have already arrived in the training area to undergo altitude military parachuting using different types of jets as preparation for the joint training.

According to the statement, the nine-day exercise comes in the framework of Egypt's joint military exercises for 2016-2017, which included 30 trainings with 20 Arab and African countries.

Egypt’s official announcement about the exercises comes a week after Russia’s defence ministry said that Russian paratroopers are expected to travel to Egypt in October to take part in joint military exercises to conduct rehearsals for combat against illegal armed groups in a desert setting.

"For the first time in history a Russian paratrooper unit with its own weaponry and equipment is planning to leave for Africa to participate in a joint international exercise," the ministry said in a statement.

In 2015, Russia and Egypt held a joint naval exercise off the coast of Alexandria, which included supply and communication exercises, search operations, and defence and firing exercises.

In September, Egypt's Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi flew to Russia to discuss various aspects of military cooperation between the two countries.

September’s visit was the latest in a series of visits focused on boosting military cooperation between Egypt and Russia. 

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