The exercise will involve more than 10,000 troops coming from the US, Morocco, as well as Senegal and Tunisia
Agadir – The annual Morocco-US joint military training exercise “African Lion” will resume in June 2021 after having been reduced in scale in 2020 due to COVID-19.
From January 20, until January 30, a delegation of the US army has been scouting the locations where the military maneuvers are set to take place. The exercise will involve more than 10,000 troops coming from the US, Morocco, as well as Senegal and Tunisia.
African Lion is the US Africa Command’s (Africom) largest training operation on the continent. The plans for the 2020 operation included 9,000 troops, 7,000 tons of military equipment, maritime and air exercises, as well as the use of F-16 and KC-135 aircraft.
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The news comes following talks that took place in November 2020. The Moroccan-US delegation stated in November that the annual African Lion exercise “represents an opportunity to show the strong and continuous strategic partnership between the United States and Morocco, although both nations are facing COVID-19.”
The maneuvers have been running uninterrupted since 2003 until they were scaled down last year due to COVID-19-related concerns.
Morocco and the US jointly organize the African Lion exercises in partnership with other countries. The exercises aim to strengthen the participants’ capacity in combating extremist organizations, as well as maintaining peace and security.
“We face a number of shared challenges, [but the US and Morocco] will continue to capitalize on our already very strong relationship to meet these challenges,” said US General Andrew Rohling last November.