~ 720th Military Police Battalion Reunion Association History Project ~
Operation Bright Star
8 October ~ 1 November 2001

        Operation Bright Star is a joint/combined exercise involving tactical air, ground, naval and special operations forces field training. Conducted every two years, Bright Star is designed to enhance military cooperation among U.S. and coalition partners, by strengthening joint commitment to regional stability and mutual interests. Participants include forces from: Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.

        The biennial Bright Star exercise traces its roots back to Egypt’s signing of the 1979 Camp David Peace Accord. It was shortly after this that the United States military began to train side-by-side with their Egyptian military counterparts in the Egyptian desert. What began as small unit training has now evolved into a Joint/Combined Coalition computer-aided command post exercise and a tactical air, ground, naval and special operations forces field training exercise involving 10 countries and more than 70,000 troops.


        The exercise is an important part of U.S. Central Command's theater engagement strategy, and is designed to improve readiness and interoperability and strengthen relationships between US, Egyptian and participating forces. The exercise began in the early 1980s and is one of many military exercises Central Command conducts in its area of responsibility, which validates training and demonstrates U.S. capability to respond to various contingencies.

        Bright Star 2001 took place in Egypt, 8 October through 1 November 2001, and involved about 60,000 troops. About 23,000 U.S. troops from all services participated. The main US maneuver unit was the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment from Fort Carson, Colorado, with an element from Fort Hood, Texas. Support forces included the 240th Quartermaster Battalion from Fort Lee, Virginia, and the 368th Cargo Transportation Company from Fort Eustis, Virginia. Other troops participated from France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Spain the United Kingdom and Egypt. And computer-aided command post exercises took place simultaneously at places such as Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. Ninth Air Force, located at Shaw Air Force Base, hosted the command and control portion of the exercise.

        The 368th Cargo Transfer Company from Fort Eustis conducted port operations in Egypt, ran a cargo marshalling area and helped with airfield departure and control group operations. The A/DACG processed a total of 1,496 personnel and 700 pieces of equipment as of 1 November. The 240th Quartermaster Battalion from Fort Lee, Virginia, provided bulk and retail fuel for all U.S. participants deployed to Egypt for Bright Star. At Pyramid Log Base, the battalion's 58th Quartermaster Company operated a 300,000-gallon-capacity Fuel System Supply Point for JP-8 and a 30,000-gallon site for mogas. Fuel from these sites provided power for everything from the smallest of generators to the largest of weapons, such as the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment's M1A1 Abrams tanks and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters.

Return To 2001 Time Line Page
Use Your Browser Button To Return