Moscow ready to exert all possible efforts to resolve GERD issue, says envoy    A timeline of Lionel Messi's career at Barcelona    Head of UN health agency seeks vaccine booster moratorium    Moderna plans booster doses to help fight virus    Raging wildfire decimates Northern California town    Egypt's stocks end week up higher as benchmark EGX 30 adds 0.04%    BREAKING: Former Housing Minister Hasaballah El-Kafrawy passes away aged 91    Egypt, Japan ink $19 mln agreement to expand Abu Al-Rish Children's Hospital    Egypt to keep interest ratees unchanged as prices hike – Bloomberg poll    Mercedes-Benz Egypt names Gerd Bitterlich new president and CEO    Egypt expresses solidarity with Greece in its battle against raging wildfires    Airstrikes pummel Taliban in south; insurgents gain in north    Egypt is not among list of 65 countries that received U.S. COVID-19 vaccines    Delta variant challenges China's costly lockdown strategy    Athletics: US relay woe strikes again after Olympic 4x100 flop    Olympics: Tunisian swimmer Mellouli looks ahead to Paris at 40    Library book returned after 50 years with $20 bill    Egypt issues commemorative coin to mark Pharaohs' Golden Parade    Egyptian actress Fathiya Tantawi dies in Cairo at 78    'Satisfactory solutions' on the GERD?    Egypt's Supply ministry says studying increasing subsidized bread price after Sisi's remarks    Realme launches realme 8 5G – its first 5G smartphone in Egypt    Sisi inaugurates major food industrial complex in Sadat City    Czech Export Bank earmarks $300 million for new investments in Egyptian market    Egypt seeks to host 2022 UN Climate Change Conference – minister    Qatar appoints ambassadors to Egypt and Libya    Egypt's transport start-up SWVL preps for Nasdaq listing after merger with Queen's Gambit    Orange Egypt Introduces Amazon Prime Video    Tokyo Olympics: Cautious opening ceremony, shy start for Egyptians in competitions    Mallawi Museum in Upper Egypt holds recycling workshop for children during Eid Al-Adha    Egypt keen on stable tax policies to attract more investors: Finance Minister    Sudan declares state of emergency as water goes beyond Merowe Dam capacity    Niagara Falls illuminated in Egyptian flag to mark 23 July Revolution anniversary    Capital flows into EM keep recovering after March 2020 slump: Central Bank of Egypt    1 child orphaned every 12 seconds due to COVID-19-associated death: World Bank    Egypt, Japanese Olympic Committee discuss boosting sports cooperation    Ethiopia ready to resume dam talks with no legally binding agreements: Ethiopian official    US emphasises AU's role in mediating Ethiopian damdispute    Sunken city of Thônis-Heracleion in Egypt's Abu Qir bay yields new archaeological treasures    New films, concerts, and destinations for Eid Al-Adha holidays    Egypt, Oman discuss enhancing bilateral economic, investment relations    Al Ahly v Kaizer Chiefs: Cairo giants eye 10th CAF Champions League title    Tunisia hopes to have a UN role in resolving Egypt-Ethiopia dam dispute    Egypt denounces Ethiopia's move to start second filling of giant dam    APO Group enters new exclusive agreement with Getty Images on African press releases and images    On International Museum Day, Egypt opens two new museums at Cairo Airport    Egypt's Ahly is establishing a new stadium, expected to be 'sports complex'    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



Guardian of the seas
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 19 - 07 - 2018

Egypt has engaged in a series of joint naval drills in the Red Sea and Mediterranean with European countries that include the UK, France, Greece and Cyprus, reports Ahmed Eleiba.
The Medusa drills with Greece and the Cleopatra drills with France were continuations of ongoing exercises while others were conducted with partners that have longstanding cooperative relations with Egypt and share common interests in the region. In last year's Eagle Salute manoeuvres, Spain and Britain took part alongside the US and Egypt. In some cases, the naval exercises were part of larger scale manoeuvres that included air forces and other branches of the military, as was the case with the Defenders of Friendship exercises with Russia.
Strategically, the exercises aimed to enhance the ability to protect vital targets from the unconventional threats that have emerged in the region during recent years by familiarising participant forces with the latest methods and systems of naval combat.
The drills and manoeuvres have included new activities and brought on board new participants, such as Cyprus in the case of the Medusa drills. And for the first time, naval forces have been included in ongoing joint military exercises with friendly nations, such as Britain.
British naval units joined their Egyptian counterparts in a naval drill in the Mediterranean last week. The exercise began with the arrival of the Royal Navy's HMS Argyll at Alexandria. Training included simulated counter-terrorism exercises, neutralising maritime security threats and protecting vital targets against non-conventional threats. Participants practised naval formations and signal communications, helicopter take-offs and landings on naval vessels under night-time and daytime conditions, covering vessels as they pass through danger zones and carrying out visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations. Target training, using live ammunition to intercept and destroy hostile surface targets, demonstrated the high level of marksmanship of the participant forces.
The Egyptian-British naval exercise “aimed to bolster cooperation between the Egyptian and the UK naval forces, develop proficiency in the latest naval combat methods and systems, and maximise benefits for the participant forces from both side,” said the official communiqué released by the Egyptian Armed Forces.
Guardian of the seas
On 6 July Egypt began joint naval drills with France in the Red Sea. Egyptian and French vessels took part in exercises lasting several days, using the latest counter-terrorism techniques to neutralise maritime threats and protect vital targets against non-conventional threats. There was also training in maritime supply line operations and in how to protect vessels carrying vital cargoes.
Earlier, in March, Egyptian and French naval forces had staged manoeuvres, also in the Red Sea, that included the Egyptian Minehunter Navarine, the French Minesweeper Lyre, and crews trained in removing underwater mines using the latest sonar devices and other equipment. The primary purpose of the exercise was to build on the participants' ability to secure ports against naval mines.
The Red Sea was also the theatre for February's round of the Egyptian-French Cleopatra exercises. For the first time, Cleopatra 2018 included a comprehensive amphibious landing operation staged on an island in the Red Sea. The movement began with the deployment of reconnaissance groups Preliminary gunfire and combing was followed by the landing of special units and marine forces using French and Egyptian landing craft.
Joint exercises conducted by Egypt and France this year testify to the high level of military cooperation between the two, which is also reflected in arms sales.
A week before the most recent Egyptian-French naval drill, Egyptian, Greek and Cypriot naval and air forces took part in the Medusa 6 exercises in Egyptian territorial waters. The activities were designed to train participant forces in combined naval and aerial combat planning and management, intercepting hostile craft, maintaining maritime supply lines and anti-submarine warfare. Other activities focused on countering smuggling and illegal migration, VBSS procedures and amphibious and aerial landings using special marine forces, paratroopers and commandos.
Egyptian-Greek relations have acquired particular importance in the framework of maritime border agreements and the discovery of the natural gas fields in Egypt's territorial waters in the Mediterranean.
Egypt is also developing closer military cooperation with Spain. On 19 June Egyptian and Spanish naval forces began drills in Egypt's regional waters in the Mediterranean and Red Sea. Among the modern naval units that Egypt contributed to the exercises were the Anwar Al-Sadat Mistral-class helicopter carrier, the Al-Fateh Gowind-class corvette, the German-made S41 Type 209/140-class submarine, the Negm Al-Zafer frigate and the Spanish-made Descubierta-class corvette, Al-Suez. On the Spanish side were the Juan Carlos I aircraft carrier and the Alvaro de Bazan class destroyer, Blas de Lezo.
Among the many activities included in the drills were live ammunition targeting, the use of helicopters to support daytime and night-time maritime combat operations, ocean refuelling, VBSS, anti-submarines exercises and protecting and securing ships transporting vital cargo.
As the frequency and diversity of such drills suggests there is high demand from other countries for joint exercises and manoeuvres with the Egyptian navy, ranked by Global Firepower as the strongest Arab navy and one of the top 10 navies worldwide.
In the last five years Egypt's navy has seen major developments, acquiring new arms and updating training programmes. As unconventional threats have grown naval operations have acquired a strategic economic dimension given recent discoveries such as the natural gas fields in the Mediterranean and, perhaps soon, in the Red Sea, where threats are posed by the ongoing conflict in Yemen. The drills Egypt has been carrying out with its partners seek to address such dangers. The exercises have therefore focused on counter-terrorism, eliminating mines and securing the Red Sea-Suez-Mediterranean maritime route through which 10 to 13 per cent of international trade passes. To secure the trade routes Egypt inaugurated the Southern Fleet in January 2017.
Training activities in the Mediterranean have taken into account the need to counter illegal migration from Africa to Europe, and to protect joint Egyptian, Greek and Cypriot economic and commercial interests in the field of petroleum exploration.


Clic here to read the story from its source.