Exercise African Lion 2021, U.S. Africa Command’s (AFRICOM) joint annual exercise, began for the 17th time on June 7. The annual exercise, which was canceled last year due to COVID-19, will run until June 18.

With more than 7,800 troops participating, including 5,000 from the United States and nine other nations and NATO, African Lion is AFRICOM’s largest exercise. The training is focused on enhancing readiness for U.S. and partner nation forces.

Major General Andrew M. Rohling, the U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa commander, and the U.S. Army Europe and Africa deputy commanding general said during the launch ceremony at Agadir that African Lion 2021 is “the largest U.S. military exercise ever conducted on this continent.”

Exercise African Lion 2021
Exercise African Lion 2021 map shows where the major exercises are taking place. (DVIDS)

“This exercise has undoubtedly reached a degree of maturity that attests to the strength of cooperative relations between our respective armies,” said General Belkhir El Farouk, commander of the Moroccan Army’s Southern Zone.