By; Ahmed Abdel Azeem
The Egyptian armed forces are always keen to carry out training and maneuvers, as well as updating its activities continuously in order to keep up with the developments and changes that are related and connected to the strategic dimensions of the state. The military drills are taking place at the level of armies and military zones or with the neighboring and friendly countries.
On 2 January 2018, the members of the Second Field Army had their fighting readiness under any circumstances. As they carried out the tactical project with shooting live ammunition "Majd 25" carried out by elements of the army artillery units in the presence of the Egypian Minister of DefenceSedkiSobhi. The maneuver "Majd 25" comes within the annual plan of combat training being given to the Egyptian army formations. It is also one of a series of drills carried out by the army between its units, sectors and with the neighboring and friendly countries.
These drills have witnessed a great development connected to the changing circumstances surrounding the Egyptian state. They aim to protect the state from risks already exist and potential hostilities, which are faced by the armed forces through maintaining a high level of vigilance and the continuous training.
During the last days of 2017, the armed forces carried out five major maneuvers (at the levels of armies and military zones). Besides, eight important maneuvers with other countries had also been conducted, each of which has its specific objectives, which are intended to increase the combat efficiency of the army's personnel and its equipment.
Kinds of training
With a general reading of the internal and external maneuvers, we can point out that the fighting and training included several objectives, most notably:
-To carry out the preparation measures for the battle, and to assist the forces in fighting against the enemy, repelling and destroying the enemy's counter-attacks, and to obstruct its progress.
-Using the latest methods of artillery exploration and preparation systems for the management of fire against hostile targets, and identify their location quickly and destroying them by artillery and self-propelled artillery with high power and destructive power and the ability to deal with hostile targets in depth.
-Enabling the forces to penetrate and destroy hostile defenses with the help of the air force, which carried out air sorties to conduct reconnaissance operations, protect and support the forces in the battles, as well as destroying of enemy reserves backed by artillery and under the cover of means and weapons of air defense.
-Indirect shooting training and guided anti-tank projectiles which has high maneuverability and agility and to provide support and auxiliary fire to the forces implementing the tasks during the different stages of the battle according to an integrated system in cooperation with joint weapons and major armaments of the armed forces.
- To manage fighting and destroy the enemy in confronting and controlling a border village and clearing it up from terrorist elements. And to disrupt and destroy the command centers of terrorist elements. And restore control of the area and secure it in cooperation with the elements of special units.
-Securing the maritime forces, transport lines, maritime transport, securing marine units against mine risks, rescue and relief operations, and interdiction and inspection.
-On the level of training with the close countries, the maneuvers witnessed many activities with various indications, including the joint work between the Egyptian forces and their foreign counterparts to confront the land, sea and air attacks. As well as implementation of the tasks of securing the territorial waters of States at sea, coordination of a joint ground attack against sites or villages controlled by terrorist elements, and training in aerial reconnaissance between the forces participating in maneuvers to monitor potential hostilities.
The importance of internal training
Given the military drills carried out by the armed forces (internal or with other countries) during the past 12 months, we found that they have different connotations and importance in light of the conditions experienced by Egypt and still live in or because of the development of the situation in the region and the world as well as changes in equations at the level of strategic dimensions of the Egyptian national security.
At the level of internal drills provided for armies and zones of the armed forces, we can say that the drills focused mainly on the eastern areas (Sinai) and the West (on the borders with Libya). These two areas represent the greatest threat to Egypt's national security. Therefore, more than one maneuver was carried out by the soldiers of the second and third field armies (which are directly responsible for securing Sinai. In addition, two maneuvers were carried out within the western military zone to deter any attempts to exploit the borders with Libya and create new hotbeds of tension in the desert of Western Egypt. Thus, our forces encircled the west and east to counter any hostile attempts on the border areas.
The drills extensively included how to deal with terror hotspots even if they controlled a village or a wide geographical area, reflecting the efficiency of the Egyptian army in preventing terrorism from controlling or being in any specific geographic area as it has happened in other countries.
They also introduced the forces to ways to deal with maritime dangers and secure the wealth in the Egyptian territorial waters, especially in the light of new oil discoveries in the Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea. The forces have succeeded in depriving enemy countries from using the sea to export terrorism to Egypt or attempt to target the economic platforms of the Egyptian state in its regional waters.
The internal trainings also reflected the extent to which the army soldiers can deal with the modern weapons acquired by Egypt in the recent period, whether air, sea or land weapons, and thus reflected the encouragement of many countries to hold more deals with Egypt to provide the latest weapons to the armed forces.
These trainings also reflect the readiness of the soldiers (who are on reserve duty) and the ability of the military to engage them in such trainings at a time and level of high precision.
The implications of maneuvers with other countries
On the other hand, and with regard to maneuvers with other countries, the importance and significance of these trainings can only be addressed by referring to countries that have been keen during the past period to establish training with Egypt, which was represented in the countries (USA, Russia, Greece, Saudi Arabia, France, Jordan, Bahrain and The UAE), which have military weight in the world and in the Middle East.
The importance and significance of these trainings have expressed in several points, including training on how to confront terrorism outside the border, and how to carry out military tasks in different geographical areas, as well as the exchange of experiences on the level of fighting methods of fighting and forms of armament.
The importance of the exercises was also to work together to secure the Egyptian maritime range from the Red Sea and Mediterranean sides to miss the opportunity of any hostile countries that might pose a threat to Egypt's national security through the sea and control the Red Sea waters through joint training with Saudi Arabia to ensure that any country trying to exploit the sea water in the threat of navigation in the Suez Canal or control of Bab al-Mandab Strait and so on.
The joint drills with Russia as well, which was a joint maneuver at the paratroopers level, was of great importance because of the imposition of modern warfare and the strong role of paratroopers to counter terrorism, which takes residential areas as shields. In the same context, the trainings came with Gulf countries such as the UAE and Bahrain to emphasize Egypt's policy towards the Gulf, which is based on the principle that Gulf security is the security of Egypt and vice versa.
Last year witnessed one of the largest military trainings in the world, the training of the "Bright star" with USA and the participation of a number of other countries, which returned after a break of nine years. And this indicates the appreciation of the world countries of the Egyptian army position and recognition of its success in imposing the state prestige and maintains its strength despite the difficult circumstances experienced by the state.