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Charleston Reservists take aim at African Lion 16

African Lion is an annually scheduled, bilateral U.S. and Moroccan sponsored exercise designed to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of each nation's tactics, techniques and procedures.

African Lion is an annually scheduled, bilateral U.S. and Moroccan sponsored exercise designed to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of each nation's tactics, techniques and procedures.

A Spanish Legion soldier recovers with the help of a U.S. Air Force master sergeant after being exposed to Oleoresin Capsicum "pepper" spray during a non-lethal weapons class as a part of AFRICAN LION 16 at Tifnit, Kingdom of Morocco, April 23, 2016. Of the 11 nations participating in the annual exercise, a group of U.S. military members, Royal Moroccan armed forces members, Spanish Legion soldiers and Royal Netherlands army soldiers lived in field conditions and participated in daily familiarization with other nation’s tactics to improve interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Krystal Ardrey)

A Spanish Legion soldier recovers with the help of a U.S. Air Force master sergeant after being exposed to Oleoresin Capsicum "pepper" spray during a non-lethal weapons class as a part of AFRICAN LION 16 at Tifnit, Kingdom of Morocco, April 23, 2016. Of the 11 nations participating in the annual exercise, a group of U.S. military members, Royal Moroccan armed forces members, Spanish Legion soldiers and Royal Netherlands army soldiers lived in field conditions and participated in daily familiarization with other nation’s tactics to improve interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Krystal Ardrey)

Participants of AFRICAN LION 16 examine Humvees from different countries at Tifnit, Morocco, April 20, 2016.  The training began with vehicle familiarization and concluded with an exercise in convoy operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Krystal Ardrey)

Participants of AFRICAN LION 16 examine Humvees from different countries at Tifnit, Morocco, April 20, 2016. The training began with vehicle familiarization and concluded with an exercise in convoy operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Krystal Ardrey)

U.S. Marines demonstrate tactics during African Lion 16. African Lion is an annually scheduled, bilateral U.S. and Moroccan sponsored exercise designed to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of each nation's tactics, techniques and procedures.(Courtesy photo)

U.S. Marines demonstrate tactics during African Lion 16. African Lion is an annually scheduled, bilateral U.S. and Moroccan sponsored exercise designed to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of each nation's tactics, techniques and procedures.(Courtesy photo)

Master Sgt. Shawn Janowski, 315th Security Forces Squadron, holds 40mm rubber less than lethal rounds during African Lion 16. African Lion is an annually scheduled, bilateral U.S. and Moroccan sponsored exercise designed to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of each nation's tactics, techniques and procedures. (Courtesy photo)

Master Sgt. Shawn Janowski, 315th Security Forces Squadron, holds 40mm rubber less than lethal rounds during African Lion 16. African Lion is an annually scheduled, bilateral U.S. and Moroccan sponsored exercise designed to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of each nation's tactics, techniques and procedures. (Courtesy photo)

A U.S. Marine provides cover while an MV-22 Osprey departs during a demonstration as part of AFRICAN LION 16 at Tifnit, Kingdom of Morocco, April 26, 2016. 400 U.S. service members joined with over 350 personnel from 10 other countries to create a foundation for future partnerships and provide training to all nations on command post activities and peace support operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Krystal Ardrey)

A U.S. Marine provides cover while an MV-22 Osprey departs during a demonstration as part of AFRICAN LION 16 at Tifnit, Kingdom of Morocco, April 26, 2016. 400 U.S. service members joined with over 350 personnel from 10 other countries to create a foundation for future partnerships and provide training to all nations on command post activities and peace support operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Krystal Ardrey)

Tech. Sgt. David Thomas, holds a bunch of 40mm Rubber less than lethal rounds during African Lion 16. African Lion is an annually scheduled, bilateral U.S. and Moroccan sponsored exercise designed to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of each nation's tactics, techniques and procedures. (Courtesy photo)

Tech. Sgt. David Thomas, holds a bunch of 40mm Rubber less than lethal rounds during African Lion 16. African Lion is an annually scheduled, bilateral U.S. and Moroccan sponsored exercise designed to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of each nation's tactics, techniques and procedures. (Courtesy photo)

Military members participating in AFRICAN LION 16 gather inside of their tents at the end of the day at Tifnit, Kingdom of Morocco, April 23, 2016. Of the 11 nations participating in the annual exercise, a group of U.S. military members, Royal Moroccan armed forces members, Spanish Legion soldiers and Royal Netherlands army soldiers lived in field conditions and participated in daily familiarization with other nations’ tactics to improve interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Krystal Ardrey)

Military members participating in AFRICAN LION 16 gather inside of their tents at the end of the day at Tifnit, Kingdom of Morocco, April 23, 2016. Of the 11 nations participating in the annual exercise, a group of U.S. military members, Royal Moroccan armed forces members, Spanish Legion soldiers and Royal Netherlands army soldiers lived in field conditions and participated in daily familiarization with other nations’ tactics to improve interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Krystal Ardrey)

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. --

Three 315th Security Forces Squadron members here joined a multinational military force at African Lion 16 in Tifnit, Kingdom of Morocco, April 14 to 29.

Service members from the U.S. Armed Forces, the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces, the Federal Republic of Germany Armed Forces and other partner nations, to include Mauritania, Canada, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, Tunisia and the Netherlands, participated in the annual training exercise this year. 

The exercise designed to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of each nation’s tactics, techniques and procedures while demonstrating the strong bond between those participating.

This was the first year that Charleston Reservists participated in the multinational exercise.

Tech. Sgt. Steve Smith led Charleston’s contribution to the exercise. “We jumped at the opportunity to be a part of Desert Lion.  Working in a joint environment like this gives us the ability to broaden our cross cultural experiences, not just because we were in Morocco, but by working with other NATO nations as well,” he said.

Smith’s team from Charleston performed joint training exercises along Marine Corps Reserve and Army military police. He said they also augmented the Marines during civil unrest and “less than lethal” training. 

As a bonus, Smith said his team was given the opportunity to shoot weapons used by the other nations, including AK-47 assault rifle variant used by the Moroccans, and the Spanish Army’s rifle of choice, the Heckler & Koch G-36-E assault rifle.

Lance Cpl. Melissa Martens, Marine Corps Forces Reserve contributed to this story

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