Rabat – The next Morocco-United States military exercise named “African Lion” will be held from April 18 to 27 in southern Morocco.The 2016 armed forces maneuvers will be conducted with the goal to establish a Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF), while performing exercises that meet “Peace Operations under UN mandated processes and procedures, according to FAR-Maroc military website.Joining the Moroccan and American armies, other partner countries’ military forces will participate in the operation, among them Germany, Canada, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Tunisia, Mauritania, and Senegal. According to the same source, the exercises will “support specific USAFRICOM LOEs associated with the Theater Campaign and Security Plans, exercise selected MARFOREUR/AF and subordinate unit mission essential tasks, and improve U.S. Military interoperability with Royal Moroccan Armed Forces and Multi-National/Regional Partners”.“African Lion” will be different from 2015’s joint cooperation maneuvers, in which there was a massive deployment of U.S. armed forces. The 2016 Morocco-US cooperation will be limited to smaller-scale exercises, the same source noted.The new CJFT will establish the framework for larger-scale, more complex maneuvers planned for 2017.In addition, “African Lion” will consist of workshops on “intelligence, humanitarian assistance, law of war, and public affairs that build into crisis action planning based upon an established scenario with themes ranging from gender based violence to natural disaster.”The 2015 “African Lion” was conducted last May in Agadir and included American combat equipment, such as amphibious assault vehicles.According to the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS), “African Lion” 2015 supported and sustained U.S., Moroccan and German Bundeswehr Armed Forces during their joint and combined training engagements.

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