Caitlin Dearing Scott and Jordan Merran, MAC
April 20, 2016
From April 18-27, soldiers from the US and Morocco will be joined by their counterparts Germany, Senegal, Mauritania, Italy, Spain, Canada, the Netherlands, England, and Tunisia for the 16th iteration of African Lion– the “annually scheduled, bilateral U.S. and Moroccan sponsored exercise designed to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of each nation’s tactics, techniques and procedures.”
Building on previous exercises, this year’s African Lion will focus on inter-military cooperation and crisis-action planning in accordance with UN-mandated peace operations and humanitarian assistance themes. This includes countering illicit trafficking and training in the laws of armed conflict.
For the first time, the US, Morocco, and Mauritania also conducted a joint intelligence training mission in preparation for the exercise. The three-week course was designed to serve as an introduction to intelligence, with a focus on strengthening support to tactical level intelligence operations.
US-Morocco military and security coordination continues to grow stronger, as evidenced by the continuation of this long-standing exercise. Other notable developments this year include Morocco taking over as Co-Chair of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), a multilateral counterterrorism body that works to build “the international architecture of dealing with 21st century terrorism.”
Here’s a look at the history of US-Morocco military relations since the launch of the African Lion exercise in the early 1990s. Click on the timeline dots to access the links.