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African Lion 24 exercises Air Force’s wings

  • Published
  • By TSgt. Armando Schwier-Morales
  • U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces in Africa Public Affairs

A team representing the total force of U.S. Air Force Airmen joined the Royal Moroccan Air Force, Allied and partner nation military representatives, and other U.S. service members in Morocco for exercise African Lion 2024 (AL24), May 17, 2024.

AL24 is U.S. Africa Command’s largest premier joint annual exercise, led by U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF). This year’s event marks a significant milestone as SETAF-AF celebrates the 20th anniversary of the African Lion exercise series.

U.S. Air Force Reserve Airmen from the 302nd Airlift Wing, Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado, the 349th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Travis Air Force Base in California; the 36th Aerial Port Squadron, Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington; joined active duty Airmen from the 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Ramstein Air Base, based in Germany; the 4th Combat Training Squadron, U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria-Hohenfels in Germany; and Air National Guard Airmen from the 109th Air Control Squadron, Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base in Utah. Together, this total force of airmen began training with their Moroccan counterparts to hone airdrop and airlift tactics, as well as exercise close air support and aeromedical evacuation capabilities to enhance interoperability.

In total, more than 1,000 military personnel from both the U.S. and Morocco are scheduled to participate in AL24 alongside 8,000 multinational service members from 27 countries and contingents from NATO.

“This exercise is an incredible opportunity for all of us to work shoulder-to-shoulder with our partners as we develop essential aviation capacity and strengthen regional cooperation,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Bradley Ross, African Lion Air Force element commander. “Together, we’re building a team capable of ensuring Africa’s future safety, security and prosperity.”

U.S. Air Force C-130Hs from the 302nd AW are scheduled to conduct a joint forcible entry exercise as well as cargo drop operations on a drop zone at Ben Guerir Air Base, Morocco. Airborne insertions allow aircrew to sharpen vital airdrop skills as they rapidly and safely drop the maximum number of personnel at a specific location. Additionally, the C-130s will fly a variety of day and night missions throughout the two-week exercise to validate 24-hour operation capabilities.

In addition, joint terminal attack controllers (JTACs) are training and learning alongside Moroccan JTACs in the combined and joint exercises to direct fire support from U.S. Navy and Air Force assets in Tan Tan, Morocco.

Aeromedical personnel from a variety of nations will also be taking their skills to the next level by integrating a variety of tests, scenarios and opportunities designed to enhance regional cooperation and integration between the nations.

The exercise runs until May 31 in Morocco, Ghana and Senegal.