Air Force Reservists from the 701st Combat Operations Squadron at March ARB, Calif., and 710th COS at Langley AFB, Va., were amongst the US servicemembers who participated earlier this month in Bright Star 2009, a biennial multinational exercise hosted by Egypt. These airmen joined with air controllers from the militaries of the other participating nations to run an air operations center for the exercise, which took place from Oct. 10-26. It is the largest exercise of its kind in the Eastern Mediterranean region. The exercise opened with a strategic airborne jump of more than 300 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division, together with Egyptian, German, Kuwaiti, and Pakistani paratroopers. On Oct. 12, more than 1,000 Marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit took part in an amphibious landing at Al Amein Beach in Alexandria. The militaries of Britain, France, Greece, Italy, and Turkey also participated. (AFRC release)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.