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Top Commander: Egyptian Military Upgrade on the Way
September 30, 2012

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The Egyptian armed forces will receive upgrades in training and weaponry, according to the country's top military commander.

Commander-in-Chief General Fattah Al-Sisi is moving quickly in his first month as defense minister to reassure troops of the government's confidence in their abilities after a rough couple of years.

The general made the remarks at a drill leading up to the 39th anniversary of the 1973 war with Israel (referred to by Israel as the Yom Kippur War and as the Ramadan War in the Arab world). October 6 is a national holiday, Armed Forces Day, in Egypt. The war ended in a United Nations-brokered cease-fire and was a prime precursor to the Camp David Accords that led to lasting peace between Egypt and Israel.

The abilities of the Egyptian military have come under sharp focus since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak as army-anointed president after several decades. The military has been more or less on high alert since an incident in the Sinai Peninsula that killed 16 Egyptian border guards.

General Sisi promised to upgrade the military's equipment as well, in part anticipating another installment of military aid from the U.S. American aid to Egypt's armed forces routinely tops $1 billion. Egyptian troops have had to depend increasingly on equipment and technology lacking in modern enhancements.

The general became defense minister after President Mohammed Morsi announced the resignation of Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who had served in the post for decades and had also acted as the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which ran the country for several months after Mubarak fled.

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