Some nostalgic images of the Bright Star 01/02 exercise in 2001

A landing of M-60A3 TTS tanks of the Spanish Marine Infantry in Egypt

Diving in the National Archives of the United States I have found some very interesting photos that I want to share with you.

Spanish Marine Infantry: the units that make it up and their material resources
The Air Arm of the Spanish Navy in old photographs of the US National Archives

According to data from said Archives, photos were taken on October 20, 2001, during exercise Bright Star 02/01 in Egypt, in which more than 74,000 soldiers from 44 countries participated. The Spanish Marine Infantry disembarked together with soldiers from Egypt and the United States on El Omayed beach, a desert area west of Alexandria.

The Company of Cars of the Amphibious Mechanized Group still existed (today Third Mechanized Landing Battalion, BDMZ-III) of the Tercio de Armada, equipped with 16 M-60A3 TTS Patton battle tanks, received in 1993 and which were phased out of service between 2010 and 2020.

I thought they were some nice photos to remember, because now the Spanish Marines no longer have tanks. Among the images of that landing, the US National Archives (NARA) also preserves this photo of a M-109A5. The NARA indicate that it was of the Spanish Army, but the then commander of the BAA "Galicia" has confirmed to me that it was of the Marine Infantry.

As a curiosity, the NARA have also published this photo of that amphibious operation. Curiously, the Archive says that the ship in the background on the right is the Amphibious Assault Ship "Juan de Austria" L-51. This is obviously a mistake: the L-51 is called "Galicia".

The ship on the left is an Egyptian Vydra-class landing ship, NATO's name for Soviet Project 106 ships. The Egyptian Navy still has nine ships of this type in service.

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