Operation Bright Star Begins

U.S. Marines swept ashore in Egypt on Saturday, the black-clothed commandos setting up a forward defense so that a dozen amphibious troop carriers could hit the beach safely.

They encountered no resistance - just a grandstand full of generals and other commanders who stood and applauded their arrival.

The landing at this beach - about 55 miles west of Alexandria near the World War II battleground of El Alamein - opened a weeklong military training exercise that will involve more than 55,000 troops from five nations.

The Bright Star ‘95 war games also are bringing together 17 warships - including the aircraft carrier USS America and its battle group - and more than 800 transport planes, helicopters and jet fighters.

Organizers so far have been unable to estimate the cost of the maneuvers, but it is believed to exceed $100 million.

The maneuvers will be similar to Operation Desert Storm, in which a coalition of Western and Arab forces drove Iraq out of Kuwait.

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