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Moroccans and U.S. Marines Participate in Peace Keeping Training
More than 55 U.S. Marines and sailors partnered with members of the Royal Moroccan Army June 9-29, 2008 in Tifnit, Morocco to train for peacekeeping operations. <br /> <br />The U.S. personnel were assigned to Military Police Company, Headquarters
CAP DRAA, Morocco - U.S. Marines take part in a weapons inspection given by the Royal Moroccan Army on June 15, 2008, in the Cap Draa Training Area of Morocco. The Marines were taking part in Exercise African Lion 08, an annual training exercise promoting unit readiness and enhancing foreign relations. The training was geared to aid both forces in cooperative efforts to respond to crises and promote stability. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sergeant Justin Park)
3 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 1 of 3: CAP DRAA, Morocco - U.S. Marines take part in a weapons inspection given by the Royal Moroccan Army on June 15, 2008, in the Cap Draa Training Area of Morocco. The Marines were taking part in Exercise African Lion 08, an annual training exercise promoting unit readiness and enhancing foreign relations. The training was geared to aid both forces in cooperative efforts to respond to crises and promote stability. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sergeant Justin Park) Download full-resolution version
CAP DRAA, Morocco - Captain Maurico Saenz (center),with the U.S. Marine Corps, demonstrates M9 pistol marksmanship techniques to Moroccan Major Khaled Benkirane (left) and his soldiers. U.S. Marines and the Royal Moroccan Army instructed and assisted each other in live-fire ranges on June 15, 2008, in the Cap Draa Training Area. The Marines are taking part in African Lion 08, an annual training exercise promoting unit readiness and enhancing foreign relations. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sergeant Justin Park)
3 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 2 of 3: CAP DRAA, Morocco - Captain Maurico Saenz (center),with the U.S. Marine Corps, demonstrates M9 pistol marksmanship techniques to Moroccan Major Khaled Benkirane (left) and his soldiers. U.S. Marines and the Royal Moroccan Army instructed and assisted each other in live-fire ranges on June 15, 2008, in the Cap Draa Training Area. The Marines are taking part in African Lion 08, an annual training exercise promoting unit readiness and enhancing foreign relations. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sergeant Justin Park) Download full-resolution version
TIFNIT, Morocco - Lance Corporal Seth Synstelien, (left) military policeman, coaches soldiers from the Royal Moroccan Army during individual search training near Tifnit, Morocco, on June 16, 2008. Synstelien and the Marines took part in exercise African Lion 2008, a bi-lateral, combined-arms exercise between U.S. and Moroccan forces from May 26 to June 29.  The training was geared to aid both forces in cooperative efforts to respond to crises and promote stability. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sergeant Rocco DeFilippis)
3 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 3 of 3: TIFNIT, Morocco - Lance Corporal Seth Synstelien, (left) military policeman, coaches soldiers from the Royal Moroccan Army during individual search training near Tifnit, Morocco, on June 16, 2008. Synstelien and the Marines took part in exercise African Lion 2008, a bi-lateral, combined-arms exercise between U.S. and Moroccan forces from May 26 to June 29. The training was geared to aid both forces in cooperative efforts to respond to crises and promote stability. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sergeant Rocco DeFilippis) Download full-resolution version
CAP DRAA, Morocco - U.S. Marines take part in a weapons inspection given by the Royal Moroccan Army on June 15, 2008, in the Cap Draa Training Area of Morocco. The Marines were taking part in Exercise African Lion 08, an annual training exercise promoting unit readiness and enhancing foreign relations. The training was geared to aid both forces in cooperative efforts to respond to crises and promote stability. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sergeant Justin Park)
CAP DRAA, Morocco - Captain Maurico Saenz (center),with the U.S. Marine Corps, demonstrates M9 pistol marksmanship techniques to Moroccan Major Khaled Benkirane (left) and his soldiers. U.S. Marines and the Royal Moroccan Army instructed and assisted each other in live-fire ranges on June 15, 2008, in the Cap Draa Training Area. The Marines are taking part in African Lion 08, an annual training exercise promoting unit readiness and enhancing foreign relations. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sergeant Justin Park)
TIFNIT, Morocco - Lance Corporal Seth Synstelien, (left) military policeman, coaches soldiers from the Royal Moroccan Army during individual search training near Tifnit, Morocco, on June 16, 2008. Synstelien and the Marines took part in exercise African Lion 2008, a bi-lateral, combined-arms exercise between U.S. and Moroccan forces from May 26 to June 29.  The training was geared to aid both forces in cooperative efforts to respond to crises and promote stability. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sergeant Rocco DeFilippis)
More than 55 U.S. Marines and sailors partnered with members of the Royal Moroccan Army June 9-29, 2008 in Tifnit, Morocco to train for peacekeeping operations.

The U.S. personnel were assigned to Military Police Company, Headquarters Battalion, 4th Marine Division. They trained alongside members of the 7th Battalion, Brigade Infantry Mobile of the Royal Moroccan Army.

The exercise, called African Lion 2008, focused on a variety of military police tactics, techniques and procedures, including non-lethal weapons, mounted and dismounted patrols, vehicle and personnel searches, control points, weapons familiarization fires, and Marine Corps Martial Arts. It was geared to aid both forces in cooperative efforts to respond to crises and promote stability.

"(This exercise) has given us the opportunity to foster cooperation and teamwork between the U.S. and Moroccan forces, which strengthens our relationship," said 1st Lieutenant Eric Kaltrider. " This is a good opportunity for our Marines to get used to working with allied foreign militaries in general."

In addition to sharing tactics, techniques and procedures, the Marines enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about Moroccan culture.

"A lot of (our real-world missions) are joint and bilateral, so our Marines need to be used to operating in this environment," said Captain Joe Keegan. "This is what we do. We train and prepare our Marines to be ready for any situation."

A training session on non-lethal weapons was especially beneficial to the Moroccan army members, who had specifically requested this topic to aid them in peace keeping operations. The non-lethal weapons provide the military police with alternative methods for accomplishing law enforcement, security, and military missions without having to resort to violence.

"The training gives us an opportunity that we can use to expand our knowledge, and it is a great benefit to our soldiers," said Royal Moroccan Army Sergeant Adil Noman, a member of the headquarters of the RMA Southern Area Command. "We must be familiar with this training because of our work with the UN. Each year we gain a great benefit and get new information on how to work with foreign forces."

Both the Marines and the Moroccans said they enjoyed the opportunity to work and train with each other throughout the exercise.

"I think it is more about building and keeping good relations," said Corporal Dustin Kremer, military police officer with the Twin Cities Detachment of the reserve MP Co. and a Mankato, Minn., resident. "(Our actual company) might not ever work with these soldiers again, but both of us will remember the confidence that we have built throughout our time here."
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