VICENZA, Italy – Equipment for U.S. Africa Command’s largest exercise in Africa left the port of Livorno May 29 aboard the USNS Yuma. This equipment is a small part of the thousands of short tons now underway across the Mediterranean and Atlantic oceans to several locations for Exercise African Lion 22.
The shipments include hundreds of vehicles and military equipment, as well as supplies for associated humanitarian assistance events.
The Army’s Surface Deployment and Distribution Command is supporting the movement with transportation professionals from the 839th Transportation Battalion, based out of Camp Darby, Italy. Soldiers, Army civilians and host-nation logisticians from the 839th are experts in moving U.S. Army equipment through strategically located seaports across Europe and Africa.
“We have great partnerships and relationships (with port authorities) all throughout southern Europe and here in Livorno,” said Lt. Col Carey Way, 839th Transportation Battalion commander. “Port operations like these are complex and the partnerships we build and maintain at seaports are vital to executing the strategic maneuver of Army units for two combatant commanders – USEUCOM and USAFRICOM."
"African Lion 22 is an especially great opportunity to showcase what the 839th Transportation Battalion does throughout the Europe and Africa areas of operation,” Way said.
Thousands of troops from the North and South America, Europe, and across Africa are heading to Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia and Ghana for African Lion 22, an annual military exercise now in its 18th iteration and scheduled to run June 6-30. More than 7,500 troops from 13 countries will be participating in the joint exercise.
Led by the U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa, African Lion 22 features a multi-national combined joint task force command post exercise; a combined arms live-fire exercise; a maritime exercise; an air exercise with U.S. C-130J Super Hercules, KC-135 Stratotanker and bomber aircraft; a joint forcible entry with paratroopers into a field training exercise; a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear response exercise; a medical readiness exercise and a humanitarian civic assistance program event.
The exercise involved months of collaboration between all participating countries, including steps to ensure proper COVID-19 mitigation.