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Royal Air Force Typhoons train in Egypt for first time in 20 years

Exercise Bright Star in Egypt
Photo: Royal Air Force

Royal Air Force Typhoons currently deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean have taken part in the Egyptian Air Force hosted exercise Bright Star.

The evolution marked their first exercise with the Egyptian Air Force flying over Egypt in over 20 years.

The Typhoons currently deployed as part of 903 Expeditionary Air Wing and were joined by F-16s from the Egyptian and Greek Air Force. US Air Force F-15s and F-16s, as well as C-130 Hercules and B-52 bombers took part in the drill.

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 refueling.

“Exercises such as 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,” Wing Commander ‘Dutch’ Holland, commanding officer 903 Expeditionary Air Wing, commented.

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.