US Air Force C-130J Super Hercules Arrive in Morocco for African Lion 2021
US Air Force C-130J Super Hercules Arrive in Morocco for African Lion 2021

US Air Force C-130J Super Hercules Arrive in Morocco for African Lion 2021

Three U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, arrived in Kenitra, Morocco, for exercise African Lion, June 9, 2021. The C-130 crews will train alongside their Moroccan counterparts to hone critical airdrop, airlift and aeromedical evacuation capabilities while enhancing interoperability with the Moroccans. Additionally, the C-130s will fly a variety of day and night missions across throughout the two-week exercise.

A Moroccan military member taxis an 86th Airlift Wing C-130J Super Hercules from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, at the 3rd Royal Moroccan Air Force Base in Kenitra, Morocco, 8 June, 2021. By training together, the U.S. military and our partners get the repetitions needed to fight and win together on the modern day battlefield. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Susan Roberts/Southern European Task Force Africa )

Ahead of their arrival in Kenitra, the C-130s initiated a joint forcible entry via airborne assault where they led an airdrop team that successfully delivered over 150 U.S. and British paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, Vincenza, Italy, and the 16th Air Assault Brigade, Colchester, United Kingdom, to the drop zone in Grier Labouie, Morocco. Airborne insertions allow aircrew to sharpen vital airdrop skills as they rapidly and safely drop the maximum number of personnel at a specific location.

U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules maintainers from the 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, prepare the aircraft for departure at the 3rd Royal Moroccan Air Force Base in Kenitra, Morocco, 11 June, 2021. (Photo by Senior Airman Kevin Long/Southern European Task Force Africa)

This joint forcible entry also demonstrated the ability of the C-130s to operate effectively alongside U.S. C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.Next week, U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons and KC-135 Stratotankers will join the C-130s in African Lion’s Air Training Exercise. Joint Terminal Attack Control Airmen are also participating in the combined and joint exercise by training Moroccan JTACs and supporting airdrop operations in Grier Labouie and Tan Tan, Morocco.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Ren Forbes, C-130J Super Hercules loadmaster assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing, meets with a team of 86th Airlift Wing maintainers to finish pre-flight checks on a U.S. Air Force C-130J at the 3rd Royal Moroccan Air Force Base in Kenitra, Morocco, 11 June, 2021.(Photo by Senior Airman Kevin Long/Southern European Task Force Africa)

Training with partners throughout African Lion enables the multinational forces to build the enduring relationships necessary to confront the broad range of global challenges the African theater currently faces. African Lion 2021 is U.S. Africa Command’s largest, premier, joint, annual exercise hosted by Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal, 7-18 June. More than 7,000 participants from nine nations and NATO train together with a focus on enhancing readiness for U.S. and partner nation forces.

Moroccan military members unload supplies and equipment from an 86th Airlift Wing C-130J Super Hercules from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, at the 3rd Royal Moroccan Air Force Base in Kenitra, Morocco, 8 June, 2021. African Lion 2021 demonstrates the U.S. Air Force’s long-term commitment to improve partner nation capacity and capabilities in support of U.S. strategic objectives. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Susan Roberts/Southern European Task Force Africa )