Tunis, Tunisia – Planners from U.S. Africa Command, the Southern European Task Force, Africa, the U.S. National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve and multiple African partners assembled here to begin detailed planning Sept. 26-30 for Exercise African Lion 23, slated for next summer.
African Lion is a U.S. Africa Command event, led by SETAF-AF in coordination with all U.S. joint forces, multiple U.S. government agencies and Allies and Partners.
"Given the multitude of complexities that exist naturally in such a broad reaching exercise, the planning and coordination with joint US forces and partner nations is a long-term project spread over the entire year to ensure that when the exercise starts, African Lion is a well-coordinated, masterfully executed event," said Lt. Col. Paul Hilaski, African Lion Branch Chief for SETAF-AF.
African Lion 2023 is U.S. Africa Command's largest, premier, joint, annual exercise hosted by Morocco, Djibouti, Ghana, Senegal and Tunisia, between May 15 and July 18, 2023. More than 10,000 participants from 20 nations and NATO train together with a focus on enhancing readiness for U.S. and partner nation forces. AL23 is a joint all-domain, multi-component, and multinational exercise, employing a full array of mission capabilities with the goal to strengthen interoperability among participants and set the theater for strategic access.
The annual exercise provides unmatched opportunities for participation and cooperation on the African continent. While Morocco anchors the exercise, the other nations, known as spokes, continue to increase their size and contribution to the overall exercise.
This year's initial planning meeting took place here in Tunis for the first time, indicating an increased presence and participation by the North African nation.
"African Lion is AFRICOM's premiere exercise, and in 2023 will include both more partners and allies than in previous years with activities spanning five different host countries," said Hilaski.
"As a large scale global exercise, African Lion demonstrates our commitment to building and maintaining interoperability with our African and European partners to improve our ability to meet security-related challenges together."
Over the course of the next eight months, military and civilian planners will meet multiple times in each of the host nations to deliberately plan and refine the exercise.
U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF) is responsible for achieving U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Campaign Plan objectives while conducting all U.S. Army operations, exercises and security cooperation on the African continent.