Nicosia continues to hone its military capabilities as it knows that Ankara's diplomatic moves in the last period of time are only trying to buy time to recover from the devastating earthquakes and to see what it will do in order to be able to level the ground Athens has gained.
In this axis, from 02 to 18 September 2023, within the framework of the Bilateral Defence Cooperation Programme between Cyprus and Egypt, a team from the Command of the Commando Command (CID) attended an advanced training at the Egyptian Parachute School.
The personnel of the Commando Command were trained in an airborne environment, which simulates freefall jump conditions, and also performed jumps with aircraft provided by the Egyptian Air Force.
The co-training, which is part of the wide network of international cooperation developed by the National Guard, in line with the Ministry of Defence's guidelines, was particularly beneficial as it provided the paratroopers of the Commando Command with the opportunity, to co-train with their counterparts from the Egyptian Armed Forces, thereby promoting the level of training, interoperability and common understanding with regard to the operational capabilities of the paratroopers forces.
Relations between Nicosia and Cairo at the military level are excellent and it is worth recalling that from 31 August to 14 September 2023, the National Guard participated in the International Transfrontier Exercise "BRIGHT STAR - 2023", which took place in Egypt. In the exercise, 34 countries participated with personnel and means in addition to the host Egypt.
The purpose of the exercise, was to co-train personnel, enhance interoperability and the ability to conduct large-scale interdisciplinary operations in a multinational environment. In particular, the exercise examined ground force manoeuvre, special and air operations objects, focusing mainly on countering terrorist threats, unmanned systems and unconventional warfare in general.
This year's NF participation was upgraded in both assets and personnel, exceeding 70 personnel. Specifically participating were the FIG ALASIA, 1 Special Operations Group of the Commando Command, 1 Special Operations Group of the Submarine Disaster Unit, for the first time a section of the Mechanized Infantry and Officers in the International Transfederal Command Staff of the exercise. These personnel participated in the planning and implementation, objects of Army maneuver force operations, special operations, airborne operations and International Transfrontier Command operations.
On 13 and 14 September 2023, the Distinguished Visitor Day (DV-Day) for the Navy and the Land Army were held in the presence of the Egyptian Minister of Defence, General Mohamed Zaki and the Egyptian Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Osama Askar, respectively. These were attended by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Major General Theodoros Loizou, as representative of the Chief of the National Guard, Lieutenant General George Tsitsikostas. The DV-Day was also attended by Chiefs or representatives of the National Defence Forces, Ambassadors and Defence Attaches of the other participating countries, as well as other officials.
These exercises, contribute to the enhancement of operational capabilities and interoperability between the trainee EDs and confirm the excellent relations and high level of military cooperation that has been developed at the level of the General Staffs of the respective countries' EDs. They also reflect the wide range of international activities and cooperation in which the National Guard participates or has developed, in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Defence, which contribute significantly to the strengthening of security and stability in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region.