British and Egyptian forces on Tuesday, March 5 kicked off joint exercise Ahmose in northern Egypt, marking the growing strategic partnership between the two countries.
Around 165 British military personnel will participate in the month-long exercise, which the U.K. Embassy in Cairo said “will enhance defense cooperation between British and Egyptian troops as well as facilitate the sharing of expertise in warfare scenarios.”
Troops from 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment based in Cyprus and soldiers normally based in Gibraltar are among the British troops participating.
Last year, the U.K. and Egyptian defense ministries signed the first Memorandum of Understanding to conduct joint military exercises as part of efforts to strengthen their counter-terrorism cooperation.
Ahmose began Tuesday with an inaugural ceremony at Mohamed Naguib base in Alexandria.
“Egypt and the U.K. face the shared enemy of terrorism, which is threatening the stability of the region and the world. We know that in order to defeat this threat we must work together and share best practice in realistic scenarios,” the embassy release quoted British Ambassador to Egypt Sir Geoffrey Adams as saying.
“Ahmose marks the beginning of increased defense cooperation between our countries, to develop and ensure a safer, more secure region.”
The Egyptian army is waging a major operation aimed at wiping out Islamic State’s affiliate, Wilayat Sinai (Sinai Province), in the northeastern Sinai Peninsula and the western desert that borders Libya. Last month, four Egyptian police officers were wounded in an ambush in El-Wadi El-Gedid claimed by ISIS.