Yesterday’s exercise aims to enhance “interoperability between the U.S. and Moroccan Navies across multiple warfare areas.”
Rabat – The navy of Morocco and the US joined together for military exercises on the Moroccan coast yesterday in order to improve collaboration. The USS Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group and Morocco’s Navy and Airforce participated in the exercises, dubbed “Lightning Handshake.”
The bilateral exercise was a success, with US command commenting on the historic nature of relations between Morocco and the US.
Rear Admiral Scott Robertson stated that “it’s an honor to participate in this historic bi-lateral maritime exercise; hallmarking 200 years of an enduring partnership with Morocco.”
The exercise intended to bring the US navy and Moroccan airforce and navy closer to improve preparedness for real-life action.
“Exercises like Lighting Handshake enhance the foundation of our interoperability and continued support of our long-term commitment to security in the region,” Rear Admiral Robertson explained.
The large scale naval exercise included a variety of ships and airplanes from the local carrier strike group of the US navy who joined Morocco’s navy off the coast of Morocco. The US navy presence included the fleet’s flagship, the USS Eisenhower, an aircraft carrier that leads the US naval presence in the Mediterranean.
According to the US navy, the exercise included training in surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare as well as air and strike warfare.
“Wow what a day,” the aircraft carrier’s official Twitter account announced after the exercise concluded. The US embassy in Rabat stated that the joint exercise was “part of the strong, enduring US-Morocco security partnership.”
The large-scale exercise brought local air traffic to a halt as the US brought a variety of aircraft, helicopters, and naval ships to the coast between Morocco and the Canary Islands.
The Moroccan navy and airforce provided a navy frigate, operation command ships, as well as a helicopter and four fighter jets.
The exercise is not unique as the US and Moroccan navy often participate in joint exercises near Morocco. In 2018, the USS Harry Truman Carrier Strike Group joined Morocco’s navy to train on anti-submarine, close air support, and naval surface fire support training.