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US participates in exercise African Lion

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Malcolm Mayfield
  • U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Public Affairs
The U.S. military, the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces and eight other nations gathered in the Kingdom of Morocco participate in Exercise AFRICAN LION 18.

This annual exercise provides training for U.S. and Moroccan forces, promotes interoperability and further develops tactics, techniques and procedures of all participating nations to counter-violent extremist organizations.

"This is a great opportunity to cooperate and learn from each other," said Col. John Kent, the 48th Fighter Wing vice commander. "Everyone does things a little bit differently, but this is a chance for us to learn from one another, see how we can do things better and work closer together."

AFRICAN LION provides a foundation and structure for future military cooperation and engagement, as well as reinforces lessons learned from past iterations. The exercise gives pilots a chance to learn from one another.

"Everyone benefits from the exercise, both Air Forces are in a position to learn from each other because of our differences operationally," said a 493rd Fighter Squadron pilot. "On the ground and in the air, we are experiencing [tactics, techniques and procedures] we wouldn't normally see."

The exercise also serves to enhance relations with regional partners and strengthen U.S. Africa Command's commitment to African security.

"We're excited to be here with our partners in Morocco," Kent said. "The biggest take away from this is the [day-to-day] interaction with our counterparts in the Moroccan military which will continue to build that strong relationship we already have and improve interoperability."

More than 900 U.S. personnel, and several other nations are participating in the exercise which is scheduled to end April 27.