Exercise African Lion 18 Commences in Northern Africa

AGADIR, Morocco – Allies and partners from 15 countries representing Africa, Europe, and North America are participating in a combined multilateral exercise which will take place until the end of April in Morocco and Tunisia. Approximately 900 U.S. military personnel have arrived in the Kingdom of Morocco to take part in exercise AFRICAN LION 18.

AL18 is an annuallyscheduled exercise designed to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of each nations’ tactics, techniques and procedures. “African Lion is a clear demonstration of the strong bond between our militaries,” said Lt. Col.  Winston Tierney, who served as the lead planner for the exercise and is now serving as the acting task force Commander. “This robust, reliable relationship is the cornerstone to shaping the security environment in the region.”

Exercise AFRICAN LION 18 is led by U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa and sponsored by U.S. Africa Command.  The exercise includes military training in command-post activities, academics, and field training all focused on countering violent extremist organizations, as well as aviation training, a humanitarian civic assistance mission, and a senior leader dialogue (SLD).

Various units from the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and the Utah, Colorado and Georgia Air National Guards, Utah Army National Guard, and U.S. Marine Corps Reserve are conducting multi-lateral training with units from the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces, as well as contingents from Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, Egypt, France, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Spain, and Tunisia.

“African Lion 18 is a unique opportunity for us to get to know each other, to train together, and to provide a greater level of trust when we operate together in the future,” Tierney said. “This exercise is a true force multiplier as it promotes regional cooperation and grows the ability of African militaries to work effectively together.”