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A group of nearly 50 experts from all U.S. joint functions and multiple interagency disciplines developed a robust scenario for the next edition of African Lion which should take place from May 15 to July 18, 2023 mainly in Morocco, as well as in Tunisia, Senegal and Ghana.

The exercise according to the planners should test the combat capabilities of US Africa Command and its service components, mainly the US Army Southern European Task Force & Africa’s (SETAF-AF) based in Vicenza, Italy. “LAfrican Lion exercise nhas noequal in Africasaid Army Lt. Col. Bradley Vance, chief planner for US Africa Command African Lion 23.

With regard to defense and security cooperation through exercises and assistance to security forces, “the United States is clearly the partner of choice in Africa“, he said again. “Aslarge-scale global exercise, African Lion demonstrates our commitment to building and sustaining theinteroperability with our African and European partners in order toimprove our ability to tackle security challenges together“.

African Lion 23 increases the Joint Force’s readiness “by challenging AFRICOM and its component staffs to respond to high-intensity conflict in all domains”, for its part said. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Clarence Jernigan, AFRICOM Exercise Desk Officer for the J7 Joint Chiefs of Staff in Suffolk, Virginia.

Exercise African Lion 23 will actually begin in January in Stuttgart, Germany, when AFRICOM personnel identify a fictional emerging crisis in Africa. Then, in March, AFRICOM components will support the JTF Command Post Exercise led by SETAF-AF. Finally, in June, African Lion will culminate with various field, sea, air and medical exercises in Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal and Ghana.

This annual exercise offers unparalleled opportunities for participation and cooperation on the African continent. As Morocco anchors the exercise, the other nations, known as the Rays, continue to increase in size and contribution to the overall exercise. “African Lion is the first exercise of‘AFRICOM, and in 2023 it will include both more partners andallies than in previous years with activities spanning five different host countriessaid Hilaski.

African Lion offers a multitude of types of maneuvers, including the joint tactical exercise. Its purpose is to familiarize the interoperability between the engaged armies considered essential with regard to the deployment of forces on the ground. It is planned to strengthen it a little more next summer.

Last year, this exercise took place at “Cap Drâa”, a vast desert area where the Royal Armed Forces (FAR), the US Army and other armies had, from their air, sea and land components, carried out maneuvers together. Airplanes, helicopters, tanks, armored vehicles, rocket launchers… had contributed to a simulation of a large-scale offensive operation. Mahbès was not left out with artillery fire and joint maneuvers by the Special Forces, not to mention the airborne exercises.

For this edition, African Lion 23 will have as its first principle to be the exercise to test the quality of the planning, preparation and execution of joint planning throughout the joint force. “VSis the fifth time that thehe exercise African Lion tests SETAF-AF’s ability to provide a joint task force headquarters to the‘AFRICOMsaid Major Matt James, SETAF-AF operations officer. “With each, we learn something new about ourselves, about close peer opponents, and always about how to work with our African partners.“.

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