Exercise African Lion 20 Main Planning a Success in Morocco

AGADIR, Morocco – Military planners from the U.S., Africa and Europe worked alongside their Moroccan partners to plan U.S. Army Africa’s largest exercise, African Lion, in Agadir, Morocco, Nov. 4-8, 2019.



U.S. Army Africa Agadir, Morocco Nov 26, 2019
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AGADIR, Morocco – Military planners from the U.S., Africa and Europe worked alongside their Moroccan partners to plan U.S. Army Africa’s largest exercise, African Lion, in Agadir, Morocco, Nov. 4-8, 2019.

African Lion 20 will take place in four different countries: Morocco, Senegal, Spain and Tunisia and is the largest exercise to be implemented on the African continent.. This complex multi-national, multi-domain exercise consists of combined arms live fire, air-to-ground integration, naval gunfire, joint forcible entry, CBRNE operations, medical readiness, special operations and information warfare operations.

Morocco currently has a state partnership program with the Utah National Guard, which will be playing a significant role in the exercise.

“African Lion 20 is huge this year for the Utah National Guard and our state partnership program with Morocco,” said Capt. Kenneth J. McWilliams, the Utah Army National Guard state partnership coordinator. “We are in the process of working on a field training exercise as part of our combined arms exercise, a humanitarian aid component, and an air refueling detachment.”

McWilliams said the opportunity to plan with partners is crucial to the exercise’s success. It allows planners to coordinate the complexities of planning for several separate events within an exercise. Making sure all of coordination is complete prior to the exercise is essential for the service members who will be a part of the main event.

This year a veterinary exercise will be added to African Lion 20.

“The veterinarian component of this exercise is important to both militaries’ veterinarian services because we experience the same challenges, and we like to learn from each other in that regard,” said Capt. Maren Mason, a veterinarian assigned to the 83rd Civil Affairs Battalion. “We also experience a lot of different challenges and it is important for us to identify them in different areas of the world so that we can partner, become better and learn from each other.”

Maren said one of the primary goals of this exercise is to create a strong relationship and a solid foundation for the veterinarians to build on in the future to make exercises like this one more successful.

The upcoming exercise will bring together several foreign allies who are committed to African partners and the security and stability of their nations. Planning for African Lion will continue with a final planning event set to take place in January.

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