Subscribe

An Army National Guard unit from New York that spent a year in charge of the war in northern Iraq is back in the Middle East, with a decidedly different mission.

Some 200 soldiers with the 42nd Infantry Division’s headquarters and Special Troops Battalion are in Cairo, Egypt, working with Egyptian army officers as part of the Bright Star 2007 exercise. The exercise, held every two years, includes some dozen nations.

One major event is a computer-generated battlefield drill involving “fictitious nations in conflict, and a coalition of nations responding to restore security and an internationally recognized border,” a news release read. “The 42nd Infantry Division commander and staff will control a fictitious force of more than 110,000 troops for the command-post exercise.”

The division joined with the Egyptian army’s 9th Armor Division command and staff to form a multinational headquarters for the battle drill.

The mission to Egypt comes after a year of planning and coordination with the other nations’ militaries, officials said. Many of the 42nd’s soldiers served at the divisional headquarters in Tikrit, Iraq, during 2005.

The Iraq deployment was the first time since the Korean War that a National Guard division headquarters led troops in combat zones.

“Much of the training sessions and mission planning involved applying lessons learned from that deployment to the control of thousands of troops in the simulated combat environment,” the news release read.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up