U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command spoke with the Inspector General of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces, Gen. Abdelfatah Louarak on April 6.
Townsend expressed his gratitude for the strong partnership between the two militaries and for the opportunity to train and exercise together to counter threats and enhance regional security.
“Morocco is a major non-NATO ally of the United States and a partner we count on. We value the participation of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces in bilateral and multinational exercises—Lightning Handshake being the most recent. These exercises are a great opportunity for us to enhance the readiness of both militaries and our interoperability,” said Townsend.
“Lightning Handshake enabled Moroccan Armed Forces to exercise with the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) aircraft carrier to train and build capacity. Morocco appreciates the partnership with the United States and the continued support for security assistance,” said Louarak.
The United States works closely with the government of Morocco on issues of common interest, including regional security and sustainable development. Exercises serve as force multipliers by providing support and training for other African partner nations.
“As we plan for our premier exercise, African Lion 2021, we look forward to conducting a robust training event, while also keeping our forces safe from COVID,” said Townsend.
Louarak shared that Morocco is observing COVID mitigation measures and looks forward to a successful African Lion 2021.
Exercise African Lion 2021 is a continuation of the U.S. and Morocco’s longstanding relationship focused on security cooperation. The exercise is scheduled to take place in June and will be hosted by Morocco, Tunisia, and Senegal.