African Lion 2023: Synthetic Simulation to Assess Responsiveness of FAR-USS to Suicide Drone Attack

As part of Morocco-US cooperation in disaster management, a synthetic exercise took place, on June 11, at the military port of Agadir to assess the responsiveness of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) Rescue Unit (USS) when faced with a suicide drone attack in a crisis situation related to chemical risks.

According to Deputy Commander of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) Rescue Unit (USS), Lieutenant Hossam El Khazi, the simulation scenario involves an attack by two unmanned suicide drones equipped with an explosive device targeted at a chemical warehouse.

Lieutenant El Khazi added that within the framework of the “2023 African Lion” exercise, held under the High Instructions of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Supreme Commander and Chief of the General Staff of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR), this synthetic simulation focuses on the discovery of improvised explosive devices (IED) that caused an explosion and injured dozens of people.

During this simulation exercise, the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) Rescue Unit (USS) Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team conducted a preliminary reconnaissance with robots and advanced equipment to locate improvised explosive devices safely and accurately, followed by the dismantling of the suicide drones, risk assessment, and the triage and regrouping of the victims.

An emergency Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team was also deployed to conduct search operations, identify the site of the disaster and carry out emergency decontamination of the explosive ordnance disposal team following the presence of chemicals.

In addition, the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) Rescue Unit (USS) neutralized and destroyed the improvised explosive devices and collected chemical samples before treating the victims and conducting a criminal investigation.

On this occasion, Representative of the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Kelly Veenden, expressed his satisfaction with his participation in this exercise, which is part of the strengthening of the partnership and long-lasting cooperation between the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces (FAR) and the US Armed Forces.

This exercise aims to assess the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) Rescue Unit (USS) ability to react to a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) attack, in close cooperation with the American Nuclear, Radiological, Biological, Chemical, and Explosive (NRBCE) response teams.

On the sidelines of the simulation, media representatives were given a guided tour of the Royal Navy’s “Tarik Ibn Ziyad” multi-mission frigate and a US Marine Corps Forces frigate.

The African Lion exercise is an annual joint military exercise organized by the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) and the US Armed Forces.

Underway until June 16 in seven Moroccan regions, namely Agadir, Tan-Tan, Mehbes, Tiznit, Kénitra, Benguerir, and Tifnit, the “2023 African Lion” exercise contributes to strengthening Morocco-US military cooperation and encouraging exchanges between the armed forces of several countries to promote security and stability in the region.

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