F-16s, KC-135s join C-130s for African Lion

  • Published
  • USAFE-AFAFRICA Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft from the 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano Air Base, Italy, and U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft from the 100th Air Refueling Wing, Royal Air Force Mildenhall, United Kingdom, arrived in Morocco for exercise African Lion, June 14, 2021.

While at African Lion, the F-16s will train alongside Moroccan fighters, performing close air support missions to sharpen essential capabilities and enhance the overall interoperability between U.S. and Moroccan air forces.

The KC-135s will provide vital aerial refueling support for combined fighter operations throughout the exercise and unique training opportunities for Moroccan fighters to refine their air refueling capabilities.

Large force exercises like African Lion sharpen readiness and increase tactical proficiency by providing the training necessary to maintain a combat-capable force. 

“The arrival of fighters and tankers adds another level to this already dynamic exercise,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander. “Every flight brings another opportunity to work closely with our partners and exchange best practices so we can better pursue our shared goals.”

African Lion 2021 is U.S. Africa Command's largest, premier, joint, annual exercise hosted by Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal, June 7-18. More than 7,000 participants from nine nations and NATO train together with a focus on enhancing readiness for U.S. and partner nation forces. AL21 is a multi-domain, multi-component, and multi-national exercise, which employs a full array of mission capabilities with the goal of strengthening interoperability among participants.