Press Releases

Exercise African Lion 19 Commences in Morocco, Tunisia

Release Number: 120319

An F-16 Fighting Falcon taxis to a runway at Aviano Air Base, Italy

An F-16 Fighting Falcon taxis to a runway at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 14, 2019. Multiple F-16 Fighting Falcons took off in support of Exercise African Lion. (U.S. photo by Senior Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

U.S. Airmen from the 724th Air Mobility Squadron load equipment onto a Royal Moroccan Air Force C-130H Hercules at Aviano Air Base, Italy

U.S. Airmen from the 724th Air Mobility Squadron load equipment onto a Royal Moroccan Air Force C-130H Hercules at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 16, 2019. The aircraft visited Aviano in preparation for African Lion 19, an exercise that represents a continuation of the U.S. and Morocco’s long-standing relationship and security cooperation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tory Cusimano)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Douglas Jenkins, 555th Fighter Squadron fighter pilot, enters an F-16 Fighting Falcon cockpit at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 14, 2019. Every pilot conducts a pre-flight inspection of their aircraft before take off. (U.S. photo by Senior Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Douglas Jenkins, 555th Fighter Squadron fighter pilot, enters an F-16 Fighting Falcon cockpit at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 14, 2019. Every pilot conducts a pre-flight inspection of their aircraft before take off. (U.S. photo by Senior Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

A 31st Fighter Wing Airman marshals an F-16 Fighting Falcon at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 14, 2019. Multiple F-16 Fighting Falcons took off in support of African Lion, an exercise that serves to enhance relations with regional partners and strengthen U.S. Africa Command’s commitment to African security. (U.S. photo by Senior Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

A 31st Fighter Wing Airman marshals an F-16 Fighting Falcon at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 14, 2019. Multiple F-16 Fighting Falcons took off in support of African Lion, an exercise that serves to enhance relations with regional partners and strengthen U.S. Africa Command’s commitment to African security. (U.S. photo by Senior Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

A 555th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon prepares to take off in support of Exercise African Lion at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 14, 2019. The annual exercise provides training for U.S. and Moroccan forces and further develops tactics, techniques and procedures of all participating nations. (U.S. photo by Senior Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)

A 555th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon prepares to take off in support of Exercise African Lion at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 14, 2019. The annual exercise provides training for U.S. and Moroccan forces and further develops tactics, techniques and procedures of all participating nations. (U.S. photo by Senior Airman Kevin Sommer Giron)


Approximately 1,100 U.S. military personnel have arrived in the Kingdom of Morocco to take part in exercise AFRICAN LION 19.  This is an annually-scheduled, combined multilateral exercise designed to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of each nations’ tactics, techniques and procedures while demonstrating the strong bond between the nations’ militaries. Exercise AFRICAN LION 19 is led by U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa and sponsored by U.S. Africa Command and will include military training in command-post activities and counter-violent extremist organization tactical training.

Various units from the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and the Utah, and Utah Army National Guard will conduct multi-lateral training with units from the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces. In addition to the activities taking place in Morocco, there will be an exercise spoke taking place in Tunisia to include a field training exercise, aviation/air to ground integration, command post exercise, and non-commissioned officer development. Other participating nations include Tunisia, Spain, United Kingdom and Canada,

The exercise is scheduled to end on or about April 03 2019, with all U.S. forces returning to their home bases at the conclusion of the exercise.