June 12, 2013 —
Capt. Joseph J. Endreola, the assistant civil-military operations planner for U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command (Forward), talks with his counterpart, 2nd Lt. Zayed Alkhwalden, the civil affairs officer for the 40th Brigade, Royal Jordanian Armed Forces, on the first day of Exercise Eager Lion 2013 at Camp Titin, Jordan, June 9, 2013. Eager Lion is a recurring annual exercise designed to strengthen tactical proficiency in critical mission areas, support long-term relationships, and enhance regional security and stability by responding to modern-day security scenarios.
CAMP TITIN, Jordan – Throughout the past week, more and more tan-colored uniforms appeared on Camp Titin – located in southern Jordan – as U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command prepared for their part of Exercise Eager Lion 2013.
Eager Lion is a recurring annual exercise designed to strengthen tactical proficiency in critical mission areas, support long-term relationships, and enhance regional security and stability by responding to modern-day security scenarios.
On the morning of June 10, approximately 25 Marines and sailors filed into a tent on base to meet their counterparts, which are members of the Royal Jordanian Armed Forces. Within minutes, the tent was filled with laughter and chatter. No one would be able to tell that these men and women had never met before this day, but their military occupational specialties and military background tied them together from “hello.”
For the next two weeks, they will work together to strengthen the bilateral bond.
“I want to say welcome,” Brig. Gen. Gregg P. Olson, the commanding general of MARCENT (Fwd), said during the initial meeting, “and particularly to welcome my friend, Brigadier Sayed. For the next two weeks, please think of us as one person. I would ask across the staff … that when people speak, they speak as one voice.”
Olson’s intentions are for the Marines and sailors to work side-by-side with the Jordanians to enhance both personal and professional relationships.
“On behalf of my name and my brigade’s name, I would like to greet General Olson and his staff,” said Brig. Gen. Sayed Ahmed Al Ajarmeh, the commander of the 91st Armored Brigade, JAF. “I hope you will have some benefit for us, and we will have some benefit for you. Let us use the next two weeks to share experiences and knowledge, and not hide anything. Let’s work as a family not only during the exercise, but after as well.”
The two nations did not waste a moment and relocated to the mock-combat operations center, where different staff sections, such as administration, intelligence, and force protection, briefed the generals on current troop actions. In the coming days, the two militaries plan on sharing the briefing roles to embrace maximum partnership.
Other significant events include live-fire ranges using different military weapons, patrolling exercises, and logistically and administratively reacting to scenarios like a downed aircraft or an improvised explosive device explosion.