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U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Jose Rowe Barrera, with 1st Battalion, 175th Infantry Regiment, Maryland National Guard, prepares for the go-ahead during an ambush exercise with Tunisian Armed Forces during African Lion 2024 (AL24) in Bizerte, Tunisia, May 7, 2024. AL24 marks the 20th anniversary of U.S. Africa Command’s premiere joint exercise led by U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), running from April 19 to May 31 across Morocco, Ghana, Senegal and Tunisia, with over 8,100 participants from 27 nations and NATO contingents. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Shawn Fogleman)

Bizerte, Tunisia. (May 7, 2024): In this photo by Specialist Shawn Fogleman, U.S. Army Sergeant 1st Class Jose Rowe Barrera prepares to spring an ambush with the Tunisian armed forces during African Lion exercises underway in this small African country. SFC Barrera is with the 1st Battalion, 175th Infantry Regiment of the Maryland National Guard. This year’s African Lion exercises included more than 8,000 participants from twenty-seven nations and NATO.

In its 20th year, the African Lion series is the U.S. Africa Command’s premiere joint exercise led by the Army Southern European Task Force. In addition to Tunisia, troops from Morocco, Ghana, and Senegal contributed forces to this year’s event which is designed to increase cooperation among America’s African allies.

The Tunisian Armed Forces consists of more than 150,000 active-duty personnel and another 12,000 in the national guard. Tunisia has contributed military forces to United Nations peacekeeping missions for years, including an army company to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda.

The U.S. Africa Command, based at Kelley Barracks, Germany, maintains military relations with 53 African nations. The Southern European Task Force is sponsoring this year’s exercises which will continue until May 31.