Egypt’s army chief-of-staff attends final stage of Egyptian-French naval drill ‘Cleopatra 2018’

Egypt's Army Chief-of-Staff Mohamed Farid attended on Saturday the final stage of the Egyptian-French naval exercise "Cleopatra 2018" in the Red Sea, which was launched on 20 February and concluded on 23 February, according to a statement by Egyptian Armed Forces spokesman Tamer El-Refaie.

The exercise involved drills using Mistral-class helicopter carriers, frigates and special marine units. It also witnessed the participation of members of the air forces, air defence forces and the southern command, along with units from the French navy using helicopter carriers, frigates, and special units.

The drills involved a number of combat exercises using live ammunition, submarines, and defence against asymmetric threats, as well as executing daytime and nighttime sailing formations.

The final stage of the drills was attended by commander-in-chief of the Egyptian navy Lieutenant General Ahmed Khaled as well as his French counterpart in the Indian Ocean and a number of other Armed Forces officials.

Cleopatra 2018 also included a comprehensive amphibious landing for the first time on one of the Red Sea islands. The landing was launched using reconnaissance groups on the island, followed by the landing of special marine and ground forces.

According to the statement, the two countries' forces displayed efficiency in planning and marine combat.

"The Army's Chief-of-Staff praised the depth of Egyptian-French relations, and its reflection on the bilateral military cooperation in various fields," the statement read.

Chief-of-Staff Farid also thanked the participating forces from both sides for their special performance and professionalism in carrying out operations.


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