, taking place in Egypt biannually
. Participant nations include the US
, Great Britain
, and the United Arab Emirates
The primary focus of Bright Star is generally on land warfare and amphibious assaults. The presence of coalition forces in the near vicinity of Iraq is a visible reminder of the capability of the US and its allies to deliver a powerful blow should it be necessary.
Bright Star 97 took place between September and November. Cairo Air Base was the US Air Force's primary location, while Mubarak Military City (MMC) housed the coalition armies and the Joint Operations Center (JOC) (Note that appropriate naming would have called this the Coalition Operations Center, but you can see why that failed). The Air Operations Center (AOC) was also located at MMC. The AOC was run by USCENTAF, and used to show off US air operations and planning capabilities.
Bright Star 97 also has the distinction of being the first military exercise to have a fully defended (24x7) computer network, from initial network connection to exercise termination. No computer systems were given network connectivity in an undefended mode. Installation, monitoring, and support of the network defense was performed by the 609th Information Warfare Squadron. The IWS deployed a team of 10 members to provide defensive counterinformation (DCI) operations, engineering support, IW planning, and intel support. This 10-man team was backstopped by the full IWS operating from home.