Georgia ANG soldiers complete live-fire training during African Lion 21
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Georgia ANG soldiers complete live-fire training during African Lion 21

16 Jun 2021 (Last Updated June 16th, 2021 12:18)

African Lion 2021 is US Africa Command's joint, multi-national exercise, hosted by Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal.

Georgia ANG soldiers complete live-fire training during African Lion 21
A US Army M109A6 Paladin 155mm howitzer watches fired artillery observation rounds during Exercise African Lion 21. Credit: US Army National Guard / Sgt 1st Class RJ Lannom.

Georgia Army National Guard (ANG) soldiers have participated in night-time multinational live-fire training alongside the Moroccan infantry.

The training was conducted during exercise African Lion 21, which started on 7 June and will run until 18 June. It is hosted by Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal.

African Lion exercise was cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

More than 7,000 troops from nine nations and Nato are taking part in the exercise to train and improve readiness for forces of US and allied nations.

US and Moroccan forward observers started the live-fire training. Moroccan heavy military ranged weapons opened fire with high explosive rounds.

Following the Moroccan firing, M109A6 Paladin howitzers assigned to Georgia ANG’s 1st Battalion, 214th Field Artillery, 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade launched illumination rounds using M485.

Georgia ANG’s 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment, 48th IBCT, formed the ‘infantry force manoeuvring on the ground’.

Post completion of the training under visible illumination, the Granite Battalion Paladins fired M1066 infrared (IR) illuminating projectiles.

African Lion 21 drill improves the ‘lethality and interoperability’ of US and partner nation forces.

US Army sergeant 1st Class Jonathan Bates said: “Myself, as a platoon sergeant, am far more confident in what my squads can do despite being put into a new, challenging environment.

“They were able to adapt to the situation. We were able to develop new techniques to respond to illumination, and we were able to execute the mission.”