Amphibious exercise African Sea Lion concludes in Morocco

U.S. Marines assigned to Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), and Moroccan forces participate in exercise African Sea Lion July 12, 2016. Photo: US Navy

U.S. Navy’s Wasp Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) worked with Royal Moroccan Naval Forces during the joint exercise African Sea Lion 2016.

The exercise took place between July 10 – 14.

Forty-two Royal Moroccan Navy and Royal Moroccan Naval Infantry personnel came aboard amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1), where they participated in mutual training briefs and worked with operations planners to help carry out the mission.

The final day of the exercise culminated in a simulated amphibious raid carried out via MV-22 Ospreys from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 264 (Reinforced).

Other aspects of the exercise included division tactics operations with Royal Moroccan naval vessel RMS Allal Ben Abdellah, aerial and surface amphibious debarkation practice, air defense, and bilateral diver training.

“Our relationship with Morocco is vital to our national security. It’s very important that we are able to work with them, especially given their strategic location on the Strait of Gibraltar,” said Capt. F. Byron Ogden, commander, Amphibious Squadron 6.

African Sea Lion is the first bilateral exercise the Wasp ARG has taken part in since departing from Naval Station Norfolk June 25.

Wasp ARG is comprised of Commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 6, the 22nd MEU, USS Wasp, amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio, and amphibious dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41).

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