Egypt, Russia holding military exercise


Egypt and Russia are holding the Defenders of Friendship 2021 military exercise, which kicked off in Egypt on 17 October.

The exercise will run to 29 October. More than 100 Russian airborne troops took part in the opening ceremony in Cairo after travelling over 3 000 km to arrive in Egypt, the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

Addressing the participants in the joint exercise, the commander of the paratroopers of the armed forces of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Divisional General Atyf Ibrahim Mady, said: “Cooperation between Russia and Egypt is more than 50 years old and it continues to develop productively.”

In response, the deputy chief of staff of the Russian Airborne Forces, Major General Alexei Naumets, said: “Today, for the fifth time, we are launching the Defenders of Friendship 2021 joint Russian-Egyptian tactical exercise. Allow me on behalf of the Russian contingent to thank the commander and the entire paratrooper personnel for the warm welcome extended to our delegation. As part of the exercise, the combined unit of paratroopers of the two countries will have to perform a number of difficult tasks, including the practical landing of Russian and Egyptian units in the rear of a mock enemy.”

In total, more than 500 servicemen are involved in the exercise as well as Il-76MD aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces and C-130 Hercules and Chinook transport helicopters of the Egyptian Air Force.

The exercise will focus on neutralising armed groups in desert conditions. At the end of the joint exercise, servicemen from Russia and Egypt will work out the “destruction of disparate bandit groups, after which, in the course of active raid operations, they will block the supply channels of ammunition and supplies for illegal armed groups to the border zone.”