African Lion 21 exercise begins with 7,800 troops in Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal

African Lion 21 is a multi-domain, multi-component, and multi-national exercise, which will employ a full array of mission capabilities with the goal to strengthen interoperability among partner nations and enhance the ability to operate in the African theater of operations.



By U.S. AFRICA COMMAND PUBLIC AFFAIRS AGADIR, Morocco Jun 07, 2021
View Gallery
fallback
Gallery contains 1 image

African Lion, U.S. Africa Command’s premier joint annual exercise, kicks off in Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal for its 17th iteration June 7.

With more than 7,000 participants from nine nations and NATO, African Lion is U.S. Africa Command’s largest exercise. The training is focused on enhancing readiness for U.S. and partner nation forces.

“African Lion 2021 is U.S. Africa Command's premier, joint and multi-national annual exercise. African Lion is an excellent example of the United States' long-term commitment to Africa and recognition of Africa's strategic importance to the United States,” said U.S. Africa Command commander, U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend.

African Lion 21 is a multi-domain, multi-component, and multi-national exercise, which will employ a full array of mission capabilities with the goal to strengthen interoperability among partner nations and enhance the ability to operate in the African theater of operations.

“This exercise is all about readiness. Readiness of our partners, and readiness of our forces. It brings together various ideas, experiences, and capabilities--ultimately making us stronger partners and a more capable multi-national force,” said Townsend.

African Lion activities are spread across Morocco, from Kenitra Air Base in the north to Tan Tan and the Grier Labouihi training complex further south. Activities are also occurring in Senegal and Tunisia. 

An air training exercise, coordinated by the U.S. Air Forces Europe and Africa, will feature U.S. and Moroccan air maneuvers including bombers, fighters and aerial refueling. 

Naval maneuvers include a naval gunfire exercise and multiple sea-based maneuvers involving U.S. and Moroccan navies and crisis response capabilities.

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the Utah Air National Guard will conduct a humanitarian civic assistance event in Morocco. Utah is partnered with Morocco as part of U.S. Africa Command’s State Partnership Program. There are 15 African nations in the State Partnership Program.

“African Lion is key in building and strengthening partnerships in the region,” said Townsend. “It provides an opportunity for mutual learning between the U.S. and our African partners and benefits participants by strengthening interoperability and collective efforts towards enhancing security and stability throughout the region.”

In Senegal, U.S. and Senegalese militaries will demonstrate their combined capability to rapidly deploy and integrate in response to a crisis.

In Tunisia, U.S. and Tunisian Armed Forces will conduct command post exercises and small unit tactical training. 

The importance of training and ability to learn how to operate in a COVID-19 environment made African Lion 21 a priority. 

“COVID-19 has not changed our focus on engaging with our Africa partners. Due to last year’s cancellation of African Lion, we had a head start in planning this year's exercise,” said Townsend. “We understand how important this training is to our forces and our partners and how to better operate in a degraded COVID environment. We will ensure successful training while taking necessary COVID-19 precautionary measures in order to do so.”

The U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa, assumed lead responsibility of exercise African Lion in 2019 from the U.S. Marine Corps.

More in Operations
Why I Serve: U.S. Army soldier finds ways to lead in military and civilian career
Spc. Sherry Lewis said she joined the Army for an opportunity to better serve her community and pay for college and added that she also wanted to show young women that they can do anything they put their mind to.
Read more
Military historian, international relations expert talks to SETAF-AF about need for new strategy in Sahel
A NATO expert on peacekeeping operations in the African Sahel led a discussion among U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa staff members on Caserma Del Din, Vicenza, Italy, March 11 about the history and future of counter-violent extremist organizations in the region.
Read more
Sgt. Maj. Garcia takes over responsibility for SETAF-AF battalion headquarters
Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa, held a change of responsibility ceremony Feb. 25. Command Sgt. Maj. Salvador G. Garcia replaced Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher E. Rozmarin during the ceremony at Caserma Ederle, Vicenza, Italy.
Read more
More in Operations
Why I Serve: U.S. Army soldier finds ways to lead in military and civilian career
Spc. Sherry Lewis said she joined the Army for an opportunity to better serve her community and pay for college and added that she also wanted to show young women that they can do anything they put their mind to.
Read more
Military historian, international relations expert talks to SETAF-AF about need for new strategy in Sahel
A NATO expert on peacekeeping operations in the African Sahel led a discussion among U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa staff members on Caserma Del Din, Vicenza, Italy, March 11 about the history and future of counter-violent extremist organizations in the region.
Read more
Sgt. Maj. Garcia takes over responsibility for SETAF-AF battalion headquarters
Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa, held a change of responsibility ceremony Feb. 25. Command Sgt. Maj. Salvador G. Garcia replaced Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher E. Rozmarin during the ceremony at Caserma Ederle, Vicenza, Italy.
Read more
More in Operations
Why I Serve: U.S. Army soldier finds ways to lead in military and civilian career
Spc. Sherry Lewis said she joined the Army for an opportunity to better serve her community and pay for college and added that she also wanted to show young women that they can do anything they put their mind to.
Read more
Military historian, international relations expert talks to SETAF-AF about need for new strategy in Sahel
A NATO expert on peacekeeping operations in the African Sahel led a discussion among U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa staff members on Caserma Del Din, Vicenza, Italy, March 11 about the history and future of counter-violent extremist organizations in the region.
Read more
Sgt. Maj. Garcia takes over responsibility for SETAF-AF battalion headquarters
Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa, held a change of responsibility ceremony Feb. 25. Command Sgt. Maj. Salvador G. Garcia replaced Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher E. Rozmarin during the ceremony at Caserma Ederle, Vicenza, Italy.
Read more