Exercise Bright Star 2009

Friday October 23, 2009

What is it?

Bright Star is the oldest exercise in the United States Central Command's (USCENTCOM) area of operation. It is a biennial, joint/coalition exercise designed to increase regional involvement in pursuit of improved security and defense capabilities. Since its inauguration in 1981, as a result of the Camp David peace accords, it has grown to a multinational event observed by many nations from around the world. It is the centerpiece in the military-to-military relations between the United States and Egypt.

What has the Army done?

Since the inception of Bright Start in 1981, the Army has supported the development and growth of this exercise to one of the largest involving U.S. troops anywhere in the world. In 1985, it evolved from a strictly ground forces exercises into a joint endeavor for the United States, with the addition of the U.S. and Egyptian air forces. In 1987, Special Forces and naval forces from both countries joined. In 1996, it grew again when the United States and Egypt added the United Arab Emirates and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations of France, the United Kingdom and Germany. For the 1999-2000 iteration of the exercise, the coalition participants increased to include the Netherlands, Italy, Greece and Jordan and contained the armed forces of 11 nations and more than 70,000 troops. The U.S. component included more than 2,000 marines and 18,000 total U.S. military personnel training in the exercise. Thirty-three observer countries were also represented at Bright Star 99-00.

"Over the past three decades it [Bright Star] has grown from a two-nation exercise involving only ground troops to now being a multinational event designed to increase regional involvement in pursuit of improved security and defense capabilities," said Maj. Gen. Peter Vangjel, Third Army Deputy Commanding General.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

Since 2007, the exercise has continued to be relevant to today's fast-paced battlefield environment by focusing on the training of coalition forces in the use of high-tech computer systems to track the battle and increase situational awareness. In the future, Bright Star will continue to be a premier multinational training event that strengthens military-to-military relations of coalition nations. This year Operation Bright Star 2009 participants include members from the United States, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, Jordan, Kuwait, Germany and the Netherlands.

Why is this important to the Army?

Bright Star brings coalition forces together to build better understanding, friendship and cooperation through realistic training. It enhances cooperation between the U.S., Egypt and other nations by reinforcing our commitment to regional stability. Additionally, it strengthens our military-to-military relationships with our coalition partners while increasing awareness and appreciation for Egyptian and coalition forces' cultures, customs and their professional military.


United States Army Central Web site

Exercise Bright Star 09/10 on United States Central Command Web site





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2009 Commemorations :

Year of the NCO

Year of the Military Family

100th Anniversary of the Chaplain Assistant

October 2009

Army Domestic Abuse Prevention/Awareness Month
National Disability Employment Awareness Month
National Depression Education and Awareness Month
Energy Awareness Month

November 2009

Military Family Appreciation Month
National Native American Month
Warrior Care Month
Veteran's Day Week

Nov. 11: Veteran's Day


"At Third Army/USARCENT we are proud of our international partnerships, and Bright Star is an excellent example of how we build a team of teams. Since 1981, this exercise has provided us with an opportunity to deploy, establish a headquarters, and conduct operations with our partners while fostering international military cooperation, understanding, and mutual respect. October 2009's BRIGHT STAR will be the largest combined and joint exercise since 11 September 2001, integrating airborne, infantry, mechanized, air and maritime forces in the Sahara Desert and southern Mediterranean. With 11 countries and all armed services in play, it continues to be an important part of our engagement program to achieve stability and peace in the region.”

-Lt. Gen. William G. Webster, commanding general, Third Army/U.S. Army Central


Year of the Noncommissioned Officer

"Do something that you want to do...something you have a passion for. Just have a plan to get to the next level."

-Master Sgt. Walter M. Farrell, senior enlisted advisor to the CECOM Life Cycle Management Command (Forward), continues to add to the NCO legacy through his dedication to accomplishing the mission

Everyday hero, the noncommissioned officer


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