International military police officers find common ground at African Lion 14
TIFNIT, Morocco – Military police officers from the U.S. Marines, Army and Air Force, along with Royal Moroccan soldiers specializing in riot-control, found common ground as enforcers of the law during African Lion 14.
The training engagement, out on the desert-lined coast of Tifnit, Morocco, focused on more than training alongside partners; it integrated the bilateral band of law enforcers as they ate, slept and worked together for the three-week exercise.
“We are coming together totally integrated with them; we’re not just doing this training as a group of Army, a group of Moroccans, a group of Marines… Everything we do is mixed up to ‘shuffle the deck’ a bit,” said Marine 1st Lt. Philip J, Casata, a platoon leader for 2nd Law Enforcement Battalion, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Exercise African Lion 14 is an annually-scheduled, multilateral training engagement that is hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco. One of the largest of its kind on the continent, the engagement shows the commitment of the participating nations to military friendships, strategic partnerships and regional and global security.
“The broad theme here is security and stability operations,” added the Portchester, N.Y., native.
Stability and security elements that were shared between the joint-contingent of U.S. military police officers and the Royal Moroccan soldiers included: convoy security, crowd and riot control, vehicle and entry control points, nonlethal-weapons employment, escalation-of-force operations, humanitarian assistance, and peacekeeping operations.
“We do everything as one unit and a lot of what we’re doing is sharing our [tactics and experiences], so there’s a little bit of ours and a little bit of theirs,” said Casata.
In addition to their roles as enforcers of law and order on military installations, Marine and Army military police and Air Force security forces fulfill various combat roles in Overseas Contingency Operations, such as Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“The U.S. Military as a whole is very used to the last decade of combat operations, so we see things one way. Moroccans are used to doing a lot of U.N. peacekeeping operations, so it’s very important for us to come together and exchange what we know and how to do things,” said Casata.
U.S. military police in Afghanistan and Iraq have been used for duties ranging from convoy security, dismounted and mounted patrols to military working-dog operations, security details for VIPs and detainee handing.
Royal Moroccan Armed Forces are an important partner in the Maghreb, where a professional and established military is integral to peacekeeping and regional stability on the continent.
“They are the subject-matter experts in a part of the world we’re not used to operating in and on the other end, we bring a bit more of the combat expertise; we’re definitely able to exchange a lot of knowledge,” said Casata.
Bonds as a combined, joint contingent of military police officers were as important as the sharing of knowledge.
“It’s really interesting to see how many similarities we have and, at the same time, what each [U.S.] branch and each country does a little bit different,” said Tech Sgt. Matthew S. Devries, a lead noncommissioned officer from the 916th Security Forces Squadron, Seymore-Johnson Air Base, N.C.
“But since we are all ‘MP’ companies for the most part, it’s generally the same, so it’s easy for us to adjust quickly and work together,” added Devries.
The commonalties in riot and crowd control competencies helped the U.S. servicemembers work with their Moroccan partners more fluidly.
“When you have ‘MPs’ working together, the exercises and qualifications are the same; it’s really easy to relate to each other… the Moroccans are really good at what they do and it’s always good just to work together for a common goal,” added Devries.
The common goals go beyond proficiency in military police skill; it encompasses building on that proficiency with lessons learned by working with counterparts of different nations and different branches.
“The Moroccans are a very good military; they are very disciplined and very eager to learn and share their knowledge. What we’ve been able to do is learn the tactics of the Moroccan military and add it to our own procedures,” said Army 1st Lt. Branden T. Varga, platoon leader of the 230th Military Police Company, Baumholder, Germany.
“It’s important to build cohesion between the two different countries and their militaries and with the Moroccan military, who do a lot of UN peacekeeping missions, we can integrate their procedures and incorporate them into our techniques,” said the Vacaville, Calif., native.
Through all the shared tactics, techniques and procedures, the most important lesson might be one not found in the military learning objectives; one about the bond of an enforcer of the law, despite country or service or location.
“Everyone’s meshing pretty well; in general, we’re all some type of military police, whether Marines, Army, Air Force or Moroccan,” said Casata.
“Given the different backgrounds we came from, it’s by no means a teacher-mentee relationship; it’s been a level training field and a great experience for everyone so far.”
Marines land in Morocco, demonstrate crisis response capability
MORON AIR BASE, Spain - In today’s security environment, the ability to quickly place military personnel on a location anywhere on the globe is at a premium. In order to stay ready for that task, the U.S. Marines of Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force conducted a training mission in Tifnit, Morocco, April 3, 2014.
Their mission was executed in conjunction with African Lion 14, a combined-joint exercise between the Kingdom of Morocco and the U.S. that involves approximately 150 soldiers of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces, 350 U.S. servicemembers and additional military personnel from European and African partner nations.
The Marines flew approximately 500 nautical miles in MV-22B tiltrotor Ospreys from Moron Air Base, Spain, to their landing zone in Tifnit. Once they arrived, a platoon of Marines from Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, which is the ground combat element for SP-MAGTF Crisis Response, quickly established security of the area.
“Our task was to provide assault support for the tactical insertion of the platoon from the GCE into a simulated U.S. compound in Morocco in order to safeguard U.S. citizens and government property,” said Capt. Kyle Stuart, the flight lead for the African Lion 14 mission.
This training focused on the primary mission for SP-MAGTF Crisis Response, which is to provide a highly responsive and mobile force in the defense of lives and defense of Department of State identified high risk facilities.
While the Marines are always ready for action, the success of a mission can often be determined by the amount of real-world planning and preparation that is conducted beforehand. For African Lion, there were a lot of details which needed to be established in order to make the mission go smoothly and safely.
“We had a pilot in each aircraft that was able to participate in one of the planning conferences that took place in Morocco,” said Stuart. “I had a chance to actually walk the landing zone back in December.”
Training opportunities like this are critical to maintaining and improving the tactics and skills of SP-MAGTF Crisis Response personnel.
“If you look at African Lion, even though the distance wasn’t as far as some of our other flights, it was in fact a full mission. We had one KC-130 and two MV-22’s fully loaded with a GCE of Marines on board,” said Stuart. “This was a great chance for us to team up with the GCE and fully rehearse a full mission into a foreign country’s training compound in a confined area and then have to execute a mission on the deck.”
SP-MAGTF Crisis Response's flight and insert also demonstrated the rapid-response capability to multinational observers from 14 different countries during the "Observer Program" of African Lion 14. The countries included: Mauritania, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Germany, Spain, Senegal, Poland, Turkey, Italy and France.
atlas General de Division
messages : 5045 Inscrit le : 15/06/2008 Localisation : vitrolles Nationalité : Médailles de mérite :
Multinational participation plays key factor to Exercise African Lion
AGADIR, Morocco - In the current global-security environment, one nation isn’t enough. After decades of overseas contingency operations, from the sands of Afghanistan to the jungles of Mali, coalitions are a clear indicator of partner nations’ commitment to worldwide stability and security.
Exercise African Lion is U.S. Africa Command’s flagship program in Northern Africa to build partner-nation capacity and interoperability. With more regional cooperation between North African nations, bringing more partners into the mix would increase expertise, capabilities and professionalism across the board.
“We are very keen to work together with [Moroccans]; they are great partners for us and we want to practice and exercise with them as much as possible,” said Italian Commander Fernando Cianci, STRIKFORNATO.
This year’s multilateral event wasn’t exclusively between the Kingdom of Morocco and the United States; the three-week event hosted Geo-spatial intelligence professionals from the German Bundeswehr Geo-spatial Intelligence Office as well as members of Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO), with representatives from the U.S., Portugal, Poland and Italy.
STRIKFORNATO is NATO’s premiere Maritime Battlestaff. One of their primary functions is to serve as a link for integrating U.S. Maritime Forces into NATO operations. The rapidly-deployable, maritime headquarters operates under a Memorandum of Understanding, signed between 11 nations, that “provides scalable command-and-control across a full spectrum of alliance fundamental security tasks,” according to its official webpage.
“It’s important because we have long-time friendships with these countries and we want to build a way to work together better,” said Cianci.
“When you work or exercise with other countries, you have to share; share the knowledge to do the jobs; we are showing them our ways to do jobs and they will show us their way and we find a good compromise for both of us to achieve the mission.”
The U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa-led engagement is one of the biggest of its kind on the continent and, during African Lion 14, hosted a multilateral event that included military observers from Mauritania, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Germany, Spain, Senegal, Poland, Turkey, Italy, and France.
“It’s great training for the Marines and the Moroccans, but now we’d like to bring in some more participation and this was the first year we’ve had that opportunity with the Observer Program,” said Marine Brig. Gen. James S. O’Meara, deputy commander of Marine Forces Europe and Africa.
The African Lion 14 Observer Program was built to showcase the exercise to potential participants, setting the foundation for more robust military engagements in future iterations.
“So far it’s been very good, very positive,” said O’Meara. “It brings more of a coalition approach to help AFRICOM and Morocco, being a key player in Africa, this is a great exercise to do that.”
“Bringing in more of our partners from Africa and Europe will bring in different expertise, interoperability; it will help us work together in the future by helping different partners learn from each other. The more ‘multilateral’ we can make the exercise, the more we can each gain from it and, in the future when we need to come together for contingencies and crises.”
The observer program included an introduction about past iterations of African Lion exercises, the simulated scenarios, site visits to the Moroccan military and civilian ports, and a demonstration of stability operations by a contingent of military police officers from U.S. Marine, Army and Air Force personnel along with their counterparts. The Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response rapid-response capability was demonstrated with flight of two MV-22B Ospreys from Moron, Spain, directly to the northwest coast of Africa.
“It’s very important from a naval perspective; we say that no one can police the seas by themselves, so we have to do it together,” said Senegalese Commander Baye Khoule, an observer of African Lion 14. “For [the Economic Community of West African States], we have 15 countries and have sent troops for UN mandated operations – we can have the world to do that. Working with our partners will help us a lot to accomplish those missions.”
Regional partners working together in an exercise the magnitude of African Lion will provide familiarity when the time comes for real-world contingencies.
“If you work together, train together, you start to think more alike, and our equipment works well together, all of that will make the transition for a coalition a little easier from an ice-cold start of never working together,” said O’Meara.
The 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade operated its capacity to integrate with partner-nation militaries and respond to contingencies if it were deployed to support contingencies with a scalable, joint task force of Marines and fellow U.S. service components.
“In a crisis, the first time you’re planning it, you don’t want the people you’re working with to be the first time you’ve ever seen them. This year, having the 2nd MEB and SP-MAGTF Crisis Response here, all that has added to the benefit of the exercise,” said O’Meara.
Next year’s scheduled iteration, African Lion 15, has already been slated as a more profound training engagement, with more servicemembers from more nations, robust live-fire engagements, and aerial tactics and training workshops with support from an international contingent of fighter-jet squadrons.
“If not for any other reason, to at least share the same concerns on a global perspective and try to find common solutions for common problems, there’s no better way with dealing with a problem or situation than knowing your partner, knowing where they’re strong, where they’re weak, so challenges can be easily overcome,” said Portuguese Navy Commander Manual A. Mota, STRIKFORNATO.
The engagement hopes to build more proficiency and maintain the partnerships it’s been built, progressing every year to work toward international integration of armed services sharing knowledge, tactics and procedures, especially those partners in the region.
“Any multinational coalition has this virtue, of bringing different ideas, different ways of doing the same business and bringing things into context and hopefully we, together, find the optimized solution for similar problems that each one individually would have to deal with.”
African Lion 14 concluded its ninth iteration April 5. The exercise hopes to bolster more robust participation to promote stability and security of the region by working with long-time partners and strategic friendships.
mr.f-15 Eagle Adjudant-chef
messages : 478 Inscrit le : 25/07/2009 Localisation : London UK Nationalité :
Team 21, Soldiers from the 230th Military Police Company, 18th Military Police Brigade participated in Operation African Lion, a joint multinational training exercise in Morocco, Mar. 26 through April 5, to develop international #partnerships. First in Support-Ready Strong! #USARMY
Sgt. Ronald Lowe, 230th Military Police Company, 18th MP Brigade provides instruction on the M2 weapon system during Operation African Lion in Morroco.
Spc. Andre Ackee, 230th Military Police Company, 18th MP Brigade conducts riot baton training during Operation African Lion in Morocco
Spc. Alexander Cornelius, 230th Military Police Company, 18th MP Brigade provides instruction on the M240B weapon system during Operation African Lion in Morocco.
messages : 24497 Inscrit le : 14/02/2009 Localisation : 7Seas Nationalité : Médailles de mérite :
tres bonne lesson,comme on disait avant dans ce forum que les soldats Marocains pendant les manoeuvres internes on les voyait toujours leur index toujours sur la detente c'est un danger culminant la safety de leur collegues soldats une bousculade et il y aura des morts partout,maintenant on a compris pourquoi les Americains n'ot pas voulu avoir au debut du african lion les soldats avec eux et des cessions de live fire car ils savaient que la plupart des soldats marocains n'etaient informes sur l'ethic de "rule of engagement",Un jour dans un entrainement pour avoir ma license en arme a feu j'avais mon index sur la gachette l'instructeur m'a vu et il m'a arrte sur le coup ,prix mon arme et m'envoya pour une semaine a une classe ou on etudier rien que safety de sois meme et de ses camarades et le plus important "RULE OF ENGAGEMENT"
messages : 2454 Inscrit le : 13/12/2010 Localisation : Casablanca Nationalité : Médailles de mérite :