Exercise African Lion 17 kicks off

  • Published
  • 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The U.S. Air Force, along with other U.S. military branches, the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces, and 11 other nations began the annual joint training Exercise AFRICAN LION 17 in the Kingdom of Morocco, April 19, 2017.

Approximately 150 U.S. Air Force Airmen, five aircraft and associated equipment are participating in the exercise. Units participating include: U.S. Air Forces in Europe & Air Forces Africa Joint Tactical Air Controllers, U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command, Kentucky Air National Guard, and Utah Air National Guard.

“Multinational exercises give us an opportunity to train together, allow us to support joint and total forces, and strengthen our skills for future operations ” said Lt. Col. Jason Johnson, U.S. Air Force exercise lead commander.

The U.S. Air Force’s participation in this U.S. Marine Corps led exercise provides several joint training opportunities with U.S. military branches and Moroccan forces. This multinational exercise is an opportunity to reinforce lessons learned from past African Lion exercises, and will continue to build upon a foundation for future military cooperation and engagements.

“Working in a new environment with other U.S. military branches and the Moroccans gives us the opportunity to hone and refine our skills and enhances our professional relationships, allowing us to support the interoperability of forces,” said Capt. Tristan Stonger, 123rd Airlift Wing Project Officer.

This annually-scheduled, combined multilateral exercise aims to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of each nation’s tactics, techniques and procedures while demonstrating the strong bond between the nation’s militaries. In addition to the U.S. and Morocco, participating nations include: Germany, Senegal, Mauritania, Canada, France, Spain, Great Britain, Mali and Tunisia.

The exercise is scheduled to end on or about April 28, 2017, with all U.S. forces returning to their home bases at the conclusion of the exercise.