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NEWS | May 6, 2015

18-nation exercise kicks off in Jordan

By U.S. Central Command Public Affairs

HASHEMITE KINGDOM OF JORDAN, May 6, 2015 - Exercise Eager Lion, which kicked off here this week, is of unique importance in light of recent history in the region, said a Jordanian general during the exercise's opening press conference Tuesday.

"The exercise is important because of what the region and the world are experiencing," said Brig. Gen. Fahad al-Damen, director of joint training for the Jordan Armed Forces. "The rise of the extremist groups that are far away from the humanitarian values...are committing horrible crimes for the believers from all religions," al-Damen said. "This mandates having joint cooperation and the exchange of expertise in order to fight all aspects and types of terrorism."

About 10,000 troops from 18 countries and NATO are participating in the annual exercise, which is in its fifth year.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Rick B. Mattson, U.S. Central Command director of exercises and training, noted the importance of friendly nations working together for a common objective.

"All of this combined training, led by the Jordan Armed Forces, will come together over the next two weeks, strengthening the partnership between 18 countries and increasing our ability to operate together during any contingency," he said. "The exercise provides us with the opportunity to develop relationships and capabilities. Those relationships we build here during the exercise will be enduring ones that ensure our success in future joint endeavors."

Eager Lion 2015 will consist of simulated scenarios to facilitate a coordinated, partnered military response to conventional and unconventional threats.

The scenarios developed will include border security, command and control, cyber defense and battlespace management.

In addition to Jordan and the U.S., exercise participants include: Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, France, Iraq, Italy, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and NATO's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps.