Egypt, Sudan Joint Air Drill: Who is the Message to?

Al-Sammani Awadallah

The Egyptian and Sudanese air forces concluded a joint exercise last week in Meroe’s Air Base in Northern Sudan.

The drill, dubbed “Nile Eagles 2”, was aimed at improving the skills of the forces in carrying out joint air operations.

According to official statements, the troops also conducted joint sorties to attack hostile targets and protect vital targets.

1st Lt. Gen. Mohamed Othman Al-Hussein, chief of staff of the Sudanese Armed Forces, high-ranking soldiers from Sudan and some senior commanders from the Egyptian Air Force took part.

The conclusion of the maneuvers came timely with the political and technical talks in Kinshasa, which included foreign and irrigation ministers from all of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over the complication of GERD, and the attempts of Addis Ababa to start the second filling unilaterally without reaching a technical agreement with Sudan and Egypt.

Observers considered those joint air operations between Sudan and Egypt as a joint warning message to Addis Ababa and readiness for any military operations if political talks fail and Ethiopia persists on starting the second filling of GERD without the consent of Khartoum and Cairo.

However, Sudanese Chief of Staff, 1st Lt. Gen.  Mohamed Othman Al-Hussein, defused those speculations and suspicions over the goals of the joint air force drills by affirming that those joint exercises do not target a certain country.

Both the 1st Lt. Gen.  Mohamed Othman Al-Hussein and his Egyptian counterpart, Lt. Gen. Mohammed Farid Hijazi, attended the concluding exercise of the “Nile Eagles 2” drill at 1st Lt. Awad Khalfallah’s Air Base in Meroe city.

The drills included a system of cooperation to unify concepts and upgrading the skills required in running joint air operations efficiently, besides conducting joint sorties targeting the hostile locations and protecting the vital targets.

In his address to the concluding session of the drills, the Sudanese Chief of Staff, 1st Lt. Gen.  Mohamed Othman Al-Hussein, emphasized the importance of conducting such exercises to improve the skills of the armies to be in complete readiness to defend the two countries.

He added that “Nile Eagles 2” will contribute in boosting the relations and the national integration between the two countries, wishing that such cooperation continues, before conveying the greeting of 1st Lt. Gen. Abdul Fattah Al-Burhan to the trainees and his blessing to the great efforts exerted to make the drills a success.

One Trench

The Egyptian Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Mohammed Farid Hijazi, said that the Sudanese and Egyptian armies are in one trench, adding that the Egyptian army is side by side with the Sudanese army towards a promising and secure future, affirming the importance of joint work to confront the joint challenges in terms of preparedness, planning and implementation.

He added that the Nile Eagles drills are witnessing positive developments in all their stages, pointing out that the current exercise comes within the joint military cooperation to contribute in boosting the security of the two countries.

He also conveyed the greetings of the Egyptian president, Abdulfattah Al-Sisi, to the Sudanese Armed Forces, calling for more sacrifices in protecting the nation.

Hijazi concluded by affirming that there is a need to expedite arrangements for the Nile Eagles 3 drills to accomplish the experience exchange system to preserve the national security of the two countries.

It is worth noting that there are military agreements between the Sudanese and Egyptian armies including conducting maneuvers between the armies of the two countries.

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