U.S. Navy participates in Exercise African Lion 21

African Lion
Photo courtesy of Chris Cavas Twitter account

Exercise African Lion 21, is a joint, combined exercise led by Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), and sponsored by U.S. Africa Command.

In addition to U.S. forces, participants include allies and African partners from Morocco, Tunisia, and Senegal. Participants will work together to strengthen U.S. and partner nation’s capability to promote regional stability and support interoperability, the U.S. Navy announced with a press release.

“Maritime security drives economic prosperity and it is imperative that we continue to exercise with our African partners to ensure security and stability in the region,” said Rear Adm. Benjamin Reynolds, Director of Maritime Headquarters, U.S. Naval Forces Africa. “African Lion highlights our shared commitment to protecting and navigating the waters surrounding Africa and is a premier opportunity for our combined forces to rehearse and train together to strengthen collective defense capabilities and counter transnational threats.”

Exercise African Lion involves U.S. service members from all service components, including the Reserves and National Guard. It provides a critical opportunity for members of the joint team to build and test their strategic readiness to deploy, fight and win in a complex, multi-domain environment.

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The maritime portion of the exercise, led by U.S. Naval Forces Africa, includes a naval gunfire exercise, multiple sea-based maneuvers, and crisis response capabilities.

“Hershel “Woody” Williams and her crew are proud to be a part of this important exercise as we do our part to help build a better recognized maritime picture and achieve improved maritime domain awareness so our partners have timely information they need to make decisions that impact safety and security,” said Michael E. Concannon, commanding officer, Hershel “Woody” Williams, Gold Crew. “I want our Moroccan and regional partners to see the capabilities of this ship and to know that we are here, as an enduring partner, committed to putting a stop to illicit activities and improving how we work together as partners to improve national and regional security, stability and economic prosperity.”

The African and Euro-Atlantic navies share myriad security interests in the Mediterranean Sea. U.S. Naval Forces Africa is committed to working alongside its Northern African and Euro Atlantic allies and partners to help improve maritime security in the Southern Mediterranean.

African Lion exercise:

African Lion is a joint, multi-national exercise in Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal linked to U.S. European Command’s DEFENDER series exercise to counter malign activity in North Africa and Southern Europe and increase interoperability with international partners.

African Lion 21, conducted by U.S. Africa Command with allies and African partners in Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal and the surrounding seas from June 7-18, seeks to strengthen U.S. and partner nations capability to promote regional stability and support interoperability.

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Photo Source: Chris Cavas Twitter Account

The African Lion series enhances the interoperability of the U.S., partner nations and regional organizations in order to contain regional instability, conduct peace operations, counter violent extremist organizations, maintain cross-border security and counter transnational threats. The scope of African Lion provides an opportunity for all participating units and nations to enhance readiness by performing their mission essential functions.

African Lion 20 was scheduled to be conducted from March 23-April 3 in the Kingdom of Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal and Spain, but was cancelled March 16 due to COVID-19.

African Lion is led by U.S. Army Africa (also known as Southern European Task Force) as a joint, all-domain, multi-national exercise in Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal and Ghana linked to the U.S. European Command’s DEFENDER series exercise to counter malign activity in North Africa and Southern Europe and increase interoperability between U.S., African, and international partners to defend the theatre from adversary military aggression.

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