US, Morocco begin preparations for largest military exercise in Africa
Morocco will take part in the African Lion military exercise of 2022 - the largest military exercise in Africa - diplomatic sources have said.
The the Royal Moroccan Southern Forces Zone headquarters in Agadir hosted a preparation meeting between US, Tunisia, Senegal and Ghana to discuss details, the US embassy in Morocco tweeted on Tuesday.
"Get ready for African Lion 2022! Planning for the return of the largest military exercise in Africa is getting started this week in Agadir, with military personnel from Morocco, the US, Tunisia, Senegal and Ghana gathering at the FAR’s southern zone headquarters," the tweet said.
Established in 2002 between the United States Marine Corps and the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces, African Lion has developed a long history of enhancing interoperability, strengthening relationships and improving readiness between US, Moroccan and other participants.
The 2021 African Lion exercises took place in June in Agadir and Kenitra, two Moroccan cities with large military bases. Some drills were also held in Senegal and Tunisia.
The 2021 event hosted more than 7,000 participants from nine nations and NATO, including UK, Brazil, Canada, Tunisia, Senegal, the Netherlands, Italy, as well as nearly thirty military observers from countries representing Africa, Europe and US, according to a statement by the General Staff of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR).
The activities included humanitarian civic assistance, air refuelling operations, naval tactics and developing cyber defence skills.
"This exercise is all about readiness. Readiness of our partners, and readiness of our forces. It brings together various ideas, experiences, and capabilities–ultimately making us stronger partners and a more capable multi-national force," said US Africa Command commander, US Army Gen. Stephen Townsend in a statement published by the US embassy in Rabat.