Egyptian navy officials
Egyptian Navy officials are seen near an unmanned underwater drone (right) operator during the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX) in the Gulf, Nov. 3, 2014. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Air and naval forces of Egypt and Greece are set to begin a five-day military and aeronautical exercise from Thursday, according to reports. The Egyptian air force and navy left Sunday to take part in the exercise named Medusa 2016.

The drills are scheduled from Dec. 8 until Dec. 12 and are part of the joint cooperation between Egypt and Greece to address the growing tensions in the Mediterranean. The exercise is also part of Egypt’s plans to conduct drills with friendly states, the Egyptian defense ministry said Sunday.

The exercise will see several activities, which will involve operating day and night sailing formations, maritime interdiction operation, and planning and administering joint naval operations. It will also have training on communications exchange between units, naval vessels, offshore units and personnel to perform various drills at sea. In the drills, the air and naval forces of both countries will be trained to secure offshore units using air-defense weapons; protect lines of communication and the movement of maritime transport.

Cairo has conducted 30 joint military drills this year with 20 countries, including France and Russia. Last November, Egypt performed a joint military exercise with Jordan. Last December’s Medusa 2015 drills coincided with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s visit to Greece.