Morocco/US military conducts largest war scenarios in Africa

Morocco/US military conducts largest war scenarios in Africa

In an effort to enhance ties and share experiences, Morocco and the United States are deepening their military cooperation in disaster management and the mitigation of weapons of mass destruction. The joint military maneuvers, considered the largest in Africa, are currently taking place across seven regions in Morocco from June 5-16. 

‘African Lion 2023’, is a multinational military training operation co-organized by Morocco and the US, that has occurred annually since 2007. It focuses on various aspects such as naval tactics, conventional engagements, air defense, maritime rescue operations, live ammunition firing against targets at sea and land, and countering weapons of mass destruction. 

What sets this year’s event apart is that there will be military exercises utilizing the HIMARS missile system. Morocco is set to acquire this system through a recent agreement with the US. This purchase will induct Morocco into the ranks of the select few countries that possess this highly effective system.

READ: Nato kicks off largest air force exercise in alliance’s history

The main objective of African Lion 2023, according to Moroccan and American military officials, is to synchronize tactical, technical, and logistical procedures from planning to implementation. The exercises aim to enhance the capabilities of the Royal Armed Forces and the American forces. 

Hisham Moatadhed, a Moroccan academic and expert in international relations, said that “Morocco has always been ready for scenarios of war operations, especially in light of the escalation of regional tensions and in view of the growing hotspots of military conflicts at the international level.” 


military cooperation in disaster


The modernization of Morocco’s armed forces, coupled with international military exercises and the acquisition of advanced technologies, are aimed at enhancing the military institution’s capabilities to address field challenges and potential aggressions.

Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Anwar al-Menini, Deputy Commander of the Airborne Units Centre said that “the 2023 edition of the African Lion maneuvers defines the participation of the 1st Paratroopers Brigade with two squadrons consisting successively of a light company of paratroopers and a group of technical support belonging to the Training Centre for Airborne Units,” adding that “the task is to provide special logistical support and overall supervision of the airdrops scheduled in the training schedule of this edition.”

READ: Algeria concerned as Morocco intensifies role in Libyan affairs

The African Lion 2023 event is occurring at the same time as NATO’s largest airforce deployment exercise in the alliance’s history. Taking place over a 10 day period starting the week of June 12th, Air Defender 23, will span multiple countries and include 220 military aircrafts from 25 NATO and partner countries.  

When talking about Air Defender 23, US Ambassador to Germany Amy Gutmann, said that it is meant to send a message to countries, including Russia.“I would be pretty surprised if any world leader was not taking note of what this shows in terms of the spirit of this alliance, which means the strength of this alliance, and that includes Mr Putin,” Gutmann told reporters. 

Air Defender 23, much like African Lion 23 is meant to show the strength, spirit, and capabilities of these groups. 

The Arab Weekly/ Al Arab/ Maghrebi


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