US Centcom builds on Bright Star success with Egypt Defence Expo 2023 participation

Among the defence partners participating in Edex 2023 were Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Jordan and Kuwait

Edex 2023 featured 400 exhibitors from 46 countries

Africa's largest defence exhibition, Egypt Defence Expo (Edex), took place for the third time between December 4 and 7, at the Egypt International Exhibition Centre in Cairo, with the participation of United States Central Command (US Centcom).

The event was held under the patronage of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and presented an opportunity to the world's biggest manufacturers of security and defence systems to showcase the latest developments in military tech for air, land and sea forces.

Edex 2023 featured 400 exhibitors from 46 countries with a strong presence from American manufacturers and drew more than 35,000 visitors, including top military brass from the Middle East and across the continent. The event began only a few weeks after the conclusion of the region's largest military exercise, Bright Star 2023, representing a continuation of the robust defence co-operation between the US, Egypt and more than 30 defence partners who joined forces at the exercise, and were presented at Edex with focus on interoperability and integration between their respective militaries.

The high-profile participation of US Centcom at the event reflected the seriousness of US commitment to Middle East security and its keen interest in developing the capabilities of regional defence partners to counter 21st-century hybrid threats. This included drones, nuclear, biological, and chemical attacks, IEDs and other modern threats that the US has unparalleled expertise in countering, with extensive technological resources and a defence budget of a whopping $816 million. This is in addition to the country's mastery of critical military functions that include command and control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR), and surface and under-sea weapon systems.

US Centcom Commander Michael Kurilla highlighted the enduring partnership between the US and Egypt and the important role of Bright Star 2023 as the centrepiece of this co-operation. He said: "The growth of the Bright Star exercise is key to improving the interoperability between US Centcom forces, Egypt's armed forces, and all the other regional forces participating."

On a related note, US Centcom senior public affairs official John Moore reaffirmed the US's determination to deter all kinds of threats to stability. He said: "In past years, American commitment to the region was measured by the number of soldiers on the ground, but times have changed, and US Centcom has continued to stand side by side with our allies and partners to defeat and deter malign behaviour and all critical threats."

Among the defence partners participating in Edex 2023 were Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan, and Kuwait.

Updated: December 16, 2023, 5:14 AM