AGADIR, Morocco — More
than 150 members of the joint task force conducting
Exercise African Lion 2010 arrived here to mark the
beginning of the exercise May 14.
The Utah National Guard along with Marines,
Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen will participate in the largest
exercise in U.S. Africa Command's area of activity.
"I know I have the best [Servicemembers] of
what each unit can offer," said Col. Anthony Fernandez III,
the Combined Joint Task Force commander for the exercise,
while addressing the members of the task force. "This is a
complicated exercise, and it is a large exercise.I know
we're going to be successful."
African Lion, a U.S. Africa
Command-sponsored exercise, will include various types of
military training including command post, live-fire
training, peacekeeping operations, disaster-response
training, intelligence capacity-building seminar, aerial
refueling/low-level flight training, as well as medical,
dental, and veterinarian assistance projects and
exercise-related construction to run concurrent with the
Various units from Marine Corps Forces
Africa and Marine Corps Reserve along with the Tennessee
Army National Guard and Naval Forces Africa will conduct
bilateral training, weapons qualification and
peacekeeping-operations training with units from the Royal
Moroccan Armed Forces.
Marines and aircraft from Marine Aerial
Refueler Transport Squadron 234 and 11th Tactical Aviation
Command will conduct various ground courses, as well as
aerial refueling and low-level flight training with their
counterparts in the Royal Moroccan Air Force.
Concurrent with the exercise, U.S. military
professionals from the Utah Army and Air National Guard,
which is joined with Morocco in the National Guard's State
Partnership Program, will provide medical, dental and
veterinarian assistance to the local residents in and around
the community of Taroudant.
The exercise is an annually scheduled,
joint, combined U.S.-Moroccan exercise. It brings together
nearly 1,000 U.S. Servicemembers from 16 locations
throughout Europe and North America with more than 1,000
members of the Moroccan military.
African Lion is designed to promote
interoperability and mutual understanding of each nation's
military tactics, techniques and procedures.
The exercise is scheduled to end June 9. All
U.S. forces will return to their home bases in the United
States and Europe at the conclusion of the exercise.
The last African Lion exercise occurred in
May 2009 and involved about 1,400 Moroccan and U.S. military