Soldiers from the British Army’s global response force are putting their desert warfare skills to the test alongside their Moroccan counterparts.
Exercise Jebel Sahara has seen Colchester-based A Company, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment working in Morocco alongside troops from 2e Brigade d’ Infanterie Parachutiste.
For the British paratroopers, the three-week-long exercise near Marrakech provides an opportunity to learn from the Moroccan troops’ greater experience of operating in the hot, dry and demanding conditions of the desert. In return, they have shared with the Moroccans their hard-earned skills in patrolling, both on foot and in vehicles; marksmanship; demolitions; and casualty care.
Troops also worked together to hone their fire and manoeuvre tactics on live-fire battle runs, and practised air assault operations from Moroccan helicopters.
The exercise culminates in a six-day war game with British and Moroccan troops fighting side-by-side to capture an airstrip to use as a base to launch strike operations from. Morocco is a long-standing partner for the UK in North Africa, with the first bilateral Exercise Jebel Sahara held in 1989. Training together helps build shared skills and relationships between British and Moroccan troops to improve their ability to operate together in future.