African Lion 24 concludes with strategic success across four nations

By Capt. Billy LacroixJune 7, 2024

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Aly Diasse, a squad leader assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 175th Infantry Regiment, Maryland National Guard, kneels alongside a Senegalese soldier during a dry-fire situational training exercise (STX) lane as part of exercise African Lion 2024 (AL24) in Dodji, Senegal, May 22, 2024. The STX lanes were designed to simulate a search and attack before initial contact is made with enemy forces to enhance lethality and combat readiness. AL24 marks the 20th anniversary of U.S. Africa Command’s premier joint exercise led by U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), running from April 19 to May 31 across Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, and Tunisia, with over 8,100 participants from 27 nations and NATO contingents.
1 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Aly Diasse, a squad leader assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 175th Infantry Regiment, Maryland National Guard, kneels alongside a Senegalese soldier during a dry-fire situational training exercise (STX) lane as part of exercise African Lion 2024 (AL24) in Dodji, Senegal, May 22, 2024. The STX lanes were designed to simulate a search and attack before initial contact is made with enemy forces to enhance lethality and combat readiness. AL24 marks the 20th anniversary of U.S. Africa Command’s premier joint exercise led by U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), running from April 19 to May 31 across Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, and Tunisia, with over 8,100 participants from 27 nations and NATO contingents. (Photo Credit: Nicholas J. De La Pena) VIEW ORIGINAL
Joint combined forces fire HIMARS, close-air support at African Lion 2024
2 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) fires live rounds during an air-to-ground rehearsal exercise in Ben Ghilouf, Tunisia May 09, 2024. African Lion 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of U.S. Africa Command’s premiere joint exercise led by U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), running from April 19 to May 31 across Morocco, Ghana, Senegal and Tunisia, with over 8,100 participants from 27 nations and NATO contingents. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Lukas Sparks) (Photo Credit: Spc. Lukas Sparks) VIEW ORIGINAL
NY National Guard, USMC execute combined arms live fire with Moroccan Military
3 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Soldiers assigned to the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, New York Army National Guard observe a joint, combined live fire exercise with the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces during exercise African Lion in Tantan, Morocco, May 31, 2024. African Lion 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of U.S. Africa Command’s premier joint exercise led by U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), running from April 19 to May 31 across Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, and Tunisia, with over 9,100 participants from 27 nations and NATO contingents. (Photo Credit: (U.S. Army photo by Avery Schneider)) VIEW ORIGINAL
US Army, Tunisian Armed Forces conduct artillery range at African Lion 2024
4 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Robert McElroy, an advisor with team 2420, 4th battalion, 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade, speaks with a member of the Tunisian Armed forces about artillery capabilities in Ben Ghilouf, Tunisia on May 5, 2024. African Lion 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of U.S. Africa Command’s premium joint exercise led by U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), running from April 19 to May 31 across Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, and Tunisia, with over 8,100 participants from 27 nations and NATO contingents. (Photo Credit: (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. William D. Kennedy III)) VIEW ORIGINAL
BTF 24-3 supports African Lion 2024
5 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Moroccan Royal Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon escorts a U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress, assigned to the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, during exercise African Lion 2024 (AL24) over Morocco, May 31, 2024. AL24 marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Africa Command’s premier joint exercise led by U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), running from April 19 to May 31 across Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia, with over 8,100 participants from 27 nations and NATO contingents. (Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Emily Farnsworth) VIEW ORIGINAL
There and back again: Maryland National Guard Soldier, Senegal native returns home during African Lion 2024
6 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Maryland National Guardsman Spc. Djibril Diop, a supply specialist with Headquarters and Headquarter Company, 1st Battalion, 175th Infantry Regiment, puts on his patrol cap for a portrait during exercise African Lion 2024 (AL24) in Dodji, Senegal, May 25, 2024. Diop returned to his native country to provide critical support and help bridge cultural gaps with partner-led training activities in support of AL24. AL24 marks the 20th anniversary of U.S. Africa Command’s premier joint exercise led by U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), running from April 19 to May 31 across Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, and Tunisia, with over 8,100 participants from 27 nations and NATO contingents. (Photo Credit: (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas J. De La Pena)) VIEW ORIGINAL
A world of service: Master Sgt. Williams' 20-year Army journey
7 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Master Sgt. David Williams, lead logistics planner (G4) for African Lion 2024 (AL24) Ghana, U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), notes logistics information on a whiteboard at Tamale Air Force Base, Ghana, May 19, 2024. AL24 marks the 20th anniversary of U.S. Africa Command’s premier joint exercise led by U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), running from April 19 to May 31 across Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia, with over 8,100 participants from 27 nations and NATO contingents. (Photo Credit: (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. Caitlinn Belcher)) VIEW ORIGINAL
Back to U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa

African Lion 24 (AL24), U.S. Africa Command’s premier, annual combined joint exercise conducted by U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), concluded on May 31, 2024, in Morocco.

AL24 ran from April 19 to May 31 across Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, and Tunisia, with over 8,100 participants from 27 nations and NATO contingents.

2024 marks the 20th anniversary of AFRICOM’s premier and largest annual, combined, joint exercise African Lion. This year’s exercise will take place April 19 through May 31 and is hosted across Morocco, Ghana, Senegal and Tunisia with more than 8,100 participants from over 27 nations and contingents from NATO. African Lion 24 focuses on enhancing readiness between the U.S. and partner nation forces. This joint all-domain, multi-component, and multinational exercise, employs a full array of mission capabilities with the goal to strengthen interoperability among participants and set the theater for strategic access.

In Morocco, the exercise took place at various sites, including the Southern Zone Headquarters in Agadir. The Moroccan Royal Armed Forces and U.S. troops engaged in live-fire exercises, combined arms training, and complex tactical operations, fostering a robust military cooperation at every level. The Moroccan landscape provided a versatile training ground, simulating real-world scenarios and testing the capabilities of all participating forces.

“This exercise has grown over the years since 2004, not only in the number of multinational service members we train with but also in the scope of the training, which has expanded beyond just security,” said Gen. Michael Langley, commander of United States Africa Command.

Medical civic action program brings public health supplies to local school in Damongo
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. John Hirnyk, civil affairs team chief, 4th Civil Affairs Group, Force Headquarters Group, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve, interacts with a child at a medical civic action program (MEDCAP) event held during African Lion 2024 (AL24) in Damongo, Ghana, May 17, 2024. AL24 marks the 20th anniversary of U.S. Africa Command’s premier joint exercise led by U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), running from April 19 to May 31 across Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia, with over 8,100 participants from 27 nations and NATO contingents. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. Caitlinn Belcher) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Caitlinn Belcher) VIEW ORIGINAL
Armed Forces of Senegal demonstrate combat lifesaving skills during African Lion 2024
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A member of the Armed Forces of Senegal [Forces armées du Sénégal] applies a tourniquet on U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Nicole Wilt, medic, U.S. Marine Forces Europe and Africa, as part of a combat lifesaver exchange course during exercise African Lion 2024 (AL24), Dodji, Senegal, May 24, 2024. AL24 marks the 20th anniversary of U.S. Africa Command’s premier joint exercise led by U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), running from April 19 to May 31 across Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia, with over 8,100 participants from 27 nations and NATO contingents. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. Ricky Gavilan) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Ricky Gavilan) VIEW ORIGINAL

Training and cooperation occurred across the country, and in all military domains linking the full U.S. joint/total force. It included a command post exercise with delegates from 17 participating nations; special operations exercise, air and maritime exercises, a unique HIMARS rapid insertion from a U.S. Marine unit and a humanitarian civic assistance exercise that directly provided medial aid to nearly 10,000 civilians.

In Tunisia, infantrymen from 1st Battalion, 175th Infantry Regiment, Maryland National Guard; artillery forces from 2nd Battalion, 258th Field Artillery, New York National Guard; and Marines from 3rd Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, Marine Corps Forces Reserve, worked alongside Tunisian forces, demonstrating enhanced interoperability.

High mobility artillery rocket systems, or HIMARS, provided by 4th Battalion, 133rd Field Artillery Regiment, Texas National Guard, repeatedly fired upon high-value targets.

“This marks the first time in African Lion’s history that HIMARS was used in Tunisia,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Kendra Tippett, chief of plans and exercises, SETAF-AF. “It’s a major testament to our partnership with the Tunisians and demonstrates our combined commitment to regional security.”

In Ghana, key activities included a multinational field training exercise, again led by the Maryland Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 175th Infantry Regiment; a joint combined staff training on civil affairs and information operations co-led by SETAF-AF and the U.S. Marines 4th Civil Affairs Group; and a complex staff exercise directed by the 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade.

"Participating in African Lion 2024 has been an extraordinary experience," said Alex Navarette, SETAF-AF lead exercise planner for the Ghana portion of AL24. "The collaboration and shared commitment between our U.S. and Ghanaian forces have not only enhanced our operational capabilities but also strengthened the bonds of partnership and mutual respect.”

In Senegal, numerous activities took place during the two-week exercise, including combined infantry tactics also led by Maryland’s 1-175th Infantry; a comprehensive staff exercise orchestrated by the 2nd SFAB; and a medical exchange led by U.S. Marine Forces Reserve. The exercise also provided an opportunity for local communities to engage with the visiting forces, helping strengthen civil-military relations.

The involvement of the Royal Netherlands Army added another dimension to the training, enhancing the multinational participation in the exercise.

"African Lion 2024 offers an excellent training opportunity due to its diverse terrain, challenging climate, and continued potential for international collaboration," noted Capt. Luc Laudy, commander, Delta Company, 44th Armored Infantry Battalion, Royal Netherlands Army. "The lessons learned and relationships forged here will undoubtedly contribute to regional stability and strengthen our preparedness for future challenges."

African Lion 24 underscored the strategic importance of multinational exercises in building stronger defense partnerships and enhancing regional security. The diverse training environments and collaborative efforts across four nations provided invaluable experience for all participants, paving the way for future cooperation and joint operations.

“The exercise was a resounding success,” said Armed Forces of Senegal Col. Theodore Adrien Sarr, battalion commander, 3rd Infantry Battalion. “We’ve enhanced interoperability and cemented our role as leaders of strategic importance in the region.”

As the exercise concluded, participants reflected on the significant progress made and the lessons learned. The experience reinforced the importance of interoperability, mutual trust, and shared commitment to security and stability.

The closing ceremony, held at the Southern Zone Headquarters in Agadir, Morocco, celebrated the achievements of African Lion 24 and reaffirmed the commitment to ongoing cooperation and readiness.

About African Lion

2024 marks the 20th anniversary of AFRICOM’s premier and largest annual, combined, joint exercise African Lion. This year’s exercise will take place April 19 through May 31 and is hosted across Morocco, Ghana, Senegal and Tunisia with more than 8,100 participants from over 27 nations and contingents from NATO. African Lion 24 focuses on enhancing readiness between the U.S. and partner nation forces. This joint all-domain, multi-component, and multinational exercise, employs a full array of mission capabilities with the goal to strengthen interoperability among participants and set the theater for strategic access.

For all photos, videos and articles throughout the exercise, visit https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/AfricanLionEx

About SETAF-AF

SETAF-AF provides U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Europe and Africa a dedicated headquarters to synchronize Army activities in Africa and scalable crisis-response options in Africa and Europe.

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