Operation Bright Star is held every two years. It is a series of combined and joint training exercises led by United States and Egyptian forces in Egypt. These exercises began in 1980, rooted in the Camp David Accords. After its signing, the military forces of Egypt and the United States agreed to conduct coalition training in Egypt.
It is designed to strengthen ties between the Egyptian Armed Forces and the United States Central Command and demonstrate and enhance the ability of the Americans to reinforce their allies in the Middle East in the event of war. These deployments usually are centered at the large Cairo West Air Base. During the period following the liberation of Kuwait (Operation Desert Storm), these exercises have grown larger and have included as many as 11 countries and 70,000 personnel. Other allied nations joining Bright Star exercises in Egypt include the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Jordan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates.
The exercise begins with coalition interoperability training to teach nations how to operate with one another in a wartime environment, then continues with a Command Post Exercise designed to help standardize command and control procedures, and then a large-scale Field Training Exercise to practice everything together.
The largest Bright Star exercise took place in October and November 1999, involving 11 nations and 70,000 personnel. An additional 33 nations sent observers to monitor the exercise: Algeria, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Burundi, Canada, China, Congo, Greece, India, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Yemen, and Zimbabwe
The exercise scenario involved a fictional hostile nation named "Orangeland" invading Egypt and trying to take control of the Nile River. The exercise coalition worked together, practicing fighting in the air, land, and sea domains, to defend the Nile and expel Orangeland.
A key piece of the training was a six-nation amphibious assault led by the Royal Navy.