The Egyptian Armed Forces announced on Saturday that it will participate in joint combat training with Saudi Arabia. According to an official statement by the army spokesperson, the soldiers departed to participate in the Tabouk 3 joint training exercises, comprised of infantry, artillery, armour units and air defence weapons from both nations.
The statement said the training falls within “the framework of the keenness of the Armed Forces on the integration of military relations and the exchange of experiences” with friendly neighbouring countries. Special Forces are also participating in the training, which will take place over the next several days.
The training is said to also focus on raising the technical competence of the troops and the tactical training of army officers and commanders. The training will also focus on the training of offensive operations and mutual defence between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, “which will contribute in achieving the highest level of efficiency and combat readiness”.
Egypt is also working on establishing joint training exercises with Turkey, after a military delegation was sent to Turkey on Sunday, headed by Commander in Chief Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi
The joint training programme comes at a time when the United States and over 30 other nations plan to hold naval exercises in the Gulf, set to begin on Monday. The International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCME) is a multilateral exercise “with the widest possible regional and international participation to examine, practice and develop mutual maritime activity across the region to preserve freedom of navigation and promote infrastructure protection”, according to its mission statement.
Representatives from the IMCME could not confirm whether or not Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Iran would be participating in these Gulf exercises
The US has also chosen to deploy a new prototype laser weapon outfitted onto an amphibious transport vehicle in the Gulf, said to be effective against light patrol ships and drones.