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Marine Forces Europe and Africa

United States Marine Corps

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Exercise African Lion 18 Commences in Northern Africa

By 1st Lt. Brett Lazaroff | Marine Corps Forces Europe | April 16, 2018

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. This is an annually-scheduled 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.

In addition to the activities taking place in Morocco, Tunisia will host a field training exercise as well as a SLD which will address the lessons learned from the exercise. The exercise is scheduled to end on or about April 27, 2018, with all U.S. forces returning to their home bases at the conclusion of the exercise.

“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.”

For additional information on this exercise or any related Marine Corps news, contact the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa public affairs office at +49 (0) 703 115 3598 or email 1stLt Brett Lazaroff at Brett.Lazaroff@usmc.mil