On 19 April 2017, 1300 service members from European, African, and North American countries deployed to Morocco in support of Exercise African Lion. During this exercise, combined service members worked jointly with the Royal Moroccan Armed forces.
One part of the exercise occurred in Tifnit, Morocco, where units from the 805th Military Police Company from Cary, North Carolina; Marine Company B, 4th Law Enforcement Battalion from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Alpha 3 Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team from Norfolk, Virginia; and Royal Moroccan Armed Forces took part in a two-week training period.
The units were broken down into three multinational companies, mixing the Moroccan, U.S. Marine, and U.S. Army forces equally in each.
Events during this period included rule of armed conflict, border security, management of prisoners, weapons familiarization, mounted peacekeeping operations, entry control point operations, vehicle check point operations, crowd control operations, and urban zone operations. Many of the events included integrated military tactics.
During crowd control operations, Moroccan troops taught the U.S. Soldiers and Marines their techniques for confronting aggressive rioters. They simulated spraying pepper spray and shooting bean bags from shotguns, while at the same time, pushing forward to achieve objectives.
The U.S. Marine Corps Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team (FAST) shared their hard-earned knowledge, running all the companies through room clearing techniques during the urban zone operations training.
The Moroccan troops and the U.S. military worked through differences of language and customs to enhance their interoperability.
“It’s great to see everyone’s different perspectives on the same approach,” said U.S. Army Spc. Nathan Brown, a military policeman “It also provides an opportunity for us to see what we have in common.”
“It helps a lot that our young Soldiers see that there are other Armies out there that are willing to work alongside of the U.S. in armed conflicts, said 1LT Jonathan Memmenger, an MP from the 805th MP Company.”
At the conclusion of the exercise, U.S. Soldiers and Marines and Moroccan armed forces have trained and worked together to accomplish the common goal of establishing relationships while becoming closer allies during Exercise African Lion 17, Africa Command said.