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    Exercise African Lion 16 concludes with success



    Story by Lance Cpl. Melissa Martens 

    Marine Forces Reserve

    As Exercise African Lion 16 concluded, participating service members wrapped-up training and prepared to take newly gained knowledge back to their home nations.

    Service members from the U.S. Armed Forces, the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces, the Federal Republic of Germany Armed Forces and other partner nations, to include Mauritania, Canada, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, Tunisia and the Netherlands, participated in the annual training exercise this year.

    The goal of African Lion was to conduct joint, combined training that promoted interoperability and mutual understanding between the nations, and to strengthen the relationships that will enable them to work together effectively in the future.

    “The beauty of bringing an organization like this together is that each individual country, the Kingdom of Morocco and the Department of Defense, have unique capabilities,” said Col. Joseph Raftery, commander of the Combined Joint Task Force. “When they bring those capabilities together, they can learn and share from each other.”

    Service members received classroom training as well as field training on partner nation’s tactics, techniques and procedures. The various training topics included intelligence, humanitarian assistance, law of war, weapons control, convoy operations, and proper detainee handling.

    “The experience level that some of the other nations have in these specific operations is much more extensive than our experience,” said Capt. Thomas Willard, Bravo Company Commander, Joint Battalion. Knowing how close of a relationship there is between the U.S. and participating nations for establishing anti-terrorism forces as well as regional security is an important part of the exercise.

    The first hand training the service members received will assist them in future situations.

    “It keeps everybody sharp,” said Lance Cpl. Jordan Stacy, a cyber network specialist with Combat Logistics Regiment 4, 4th Marine Logistics Group, Marine Forces Reserve. “I’m in a Reserve unit and we don’t have that hands on day-to-day training. Having an exercise like this makes it so if we are ever called out to deploy, we aren’t caught completely off guard.”

    The interactive exercise allowed the service members to collaborate with each other, which added to fulfilling objectives of African Lion, such as promoting regional cooperation and strengthening the militaries ability to respond to crisis.

    “It gives us the opportunity to get out of our own country and take part in this multinational exercise, to acquire different knowledge and experiences from our other partner nations,” said Maj. Angel Carricondo, Spanish Legion.

    Distinguished visitors from participating nations, including Ambassador Dwight Bush, Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco, had the opportunity to observe the progress that was achieved during this year’s iteration of African Lion. Bringing leaders and visitors together helps U.S. Africa Command and Marine Forces Europe-Africa maintain a strong military relationship with the Royal Kingdom of Morocco and other partners.

    With newly acquired tools and understanding, combined with the lessons learned from previous African Lion exercises, participants were able to work effectively to accomplish the overall mission of the exercise and build a bond that will keep lines of communications open for future opportunities.



    Date Taken: 04.27.2016
    Date Posted: 04.29.2016 12:40
    Story ID: 196864
    Location: AGADIR, MA 

    Web Views: 158
    Downloads: 1