More than 30 Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve airmen took part in a joint exercise that brought together more than 700 service members from 11 different countries in the Kingdom of Morocco from April 17 to 27. The Total Force—drawn from 12 separate bases—along with other US and international service members participated in a command post exercise and peace support operations field training during African Lion 16, according to a May 3 release. The majority of the Air Force contingent was made up of Reservists and Guardsman. Maj. Sriram Krishnan, the 414th Fighter Group exercise Joint Task Force air component liaison officer, said Africa Lion allowed non-Active Duty members to train in a different theater “like we are going to fight,” according to the release. The Air Force first participated in the annual Marine Corps-led exercise last year.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.