Morocco, US complete African Sea Lion Military drills
The African Sea Lion military drills between the US Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), the US Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and Morocco’s Royal Navy drew to a close on July 14 after four days of exercises centering on mutual training and interoperability.
More than 4,000 Sailors and Marines from the ARG and the 22nd MEU departed from Norfolk and Little Creek, Virginia, and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina on June 25, the US Navy said on its website (navy.mil).
The deployment is part of a regular rotation of forces to support maritime security operations, provide crisis response capability and increase theater security cooperation while providing a forward naval presence in the US Navy’s 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation.
Other aspects of the exercise included division tactics operations with the Royal Moroccan Naval vessel RMS Allal Ben Abdellah, aerial and surface amphibious debarkation practice, air defense, and bilateral diver training.
Forty-two Royal Moroccan Navy and Royal Moroccan Naval Infantry personnel came aboard the USS Wasp (LHD 1) where they participated in mutual training briefs and worked with operations planners to help carry out the mission.
African Sea Lion is the first bilateral exercise the Wasp ARG has taken part in since their departure from Naval Station Norfolk.
The Wasp ARG is comprised of Commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) Six, the 22nd MEU, the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1), the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17), both homeported at Naval Station Norfolk, and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41), homeported at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia.
The ARG also includes detachments from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22, Tactical Air Control Squadron 22, Fleet Surgical Team 2, and Assault Craft Unit 4.