Military members from the United States and Morocco met at the end of January to finalize plans for the annual Exercise “African Lion.” The exercise will resume in 2021 after being severely curtailed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

U.S. troops and their Moroccan hosts were scouting the locations where most of the exercise will take place. The 17th iteration of African Lion 2021 will involve over 10,000 troops from nine countries. It will span three continents and six countries. 

The annual exercise is designed to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of each nation’s tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). The exercise began in the 1990s as a biennial event. It was sponsored by the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and conducted by U.S. Army personnel in cooperation with the Moroccan Armed Forces. It then turned into an annual event, after President Bush established the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) in 2008 which took over the stewardship of African Lion.

However, African Lion exercises in Morocco, Tunisia, and Senegal in 2020, which were supposed to involve 9,300 troops from eight nations, were thrown into chaos by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.