Today marked the formal start of the 19th iteration of the African Lion maneuvers in Morocco. Over 8,000 soldiers from 20 countries on the continent and overseas, as well as observers from 27 other countries, are taking part in the largest military exercise of its kind ever held in Africa.
According to the United States Africa Command, the African Lion maneuvers involving Moroccan and American soldiers will take place in the Mahbas region of the desert from May through next June.
The African lion exercise will also be held in the nation’s other areas, including Agadir, TanTan, Tiznit, Kenitra, Benguerir, and Tifnit, according to the MAP.
The joint Moroccan-American exercise involves a variety of joint armed operations for ground, airborne, maritime, aviation, and special forces, as well as formations pertinent to several operating locations.
The exercise this year involves combined arms live fire drills with American F-16 Fighting Falcons, KC-135 Stratotankers, and C-130J Super Hercules aircraft.
According to a statement published by the General Command of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces in April, the exercise also entails civil-military activities for the removal of radioactive, biological, chemical, and nuclear contamination.
A strong illustration of Moroccan and American military cooperation is the African Lion. The two countries decided on a ten-year road map for the area of military defense on October 2, 2020.
Cooperation between Morocco and the United States aims to raise military preparedness, proficiency, and force interoperability.
In addition, Morocco intends to promote cooperation by encouraging joint ventures to engage in the country’s military sector.
The combined exercise aims to strengthen interoperability during crises and operations to strengthen security and stability in the region. It also aims to improve defense capabilities and coordination to counter transnational threats and violent extremist groups.
The African Lion manoeuvres, in which both European and African countries participate, were started in 2007 by Morocco and the US. The joint workout happens once a year, though perhaps more than once.
Other countries, such as Ghana, Senegal, and Tunisia, host the African Lion exercise.
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