14:09 GMT20 June 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian has been promoted to the rank of full four-star general and given command of all US Air Forces in Europe and Africa, the Department of Defense announced on Tuesday.

    "Air Force Lieutenant General Jeffrey L. Harrigian for appointment to the rank of general, and assignment as commander, US Air Forces Europe; commander, US Air Forces Africa; commander, Allied Air Command", the announcement said.

    Harrigian is currently serving as deputy commander of the US Air Forces Europe; and deputy commander of the US Air Forces Africa, the Defense Department noted. Harrigian is a command pilot with more than 4,100 hours of flight experience in such aircraft as the F-22 and F-15C, the announcement said.

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    The news comes on the heels of the announcement of the start of two major drills in Morocco and in Slovenia.

    US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced on Monday that about 1,100 service members from four branches of the US armed forces are in Morocco for the annual African Lion military exercise that runs through 3 April. In addition to the United States and Morocco, other participating nations include Tunisia, Spain, Canada and the United Kingdom, according to AFRICOM.

    Another drill kicked off last week in Slovenia with nearly 350 US paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade participating in maneuvers dubbed Eagle Sokul. The 173rd Airborne Brigade is the US Army’s Contingency Response Force in Europe, providing rapidly deployable forces to the United States Europe, Africa and Central Commands' areas of responsibilities.

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