NEWS | April 10, 2018

Jordanian, U.S. forces train on NATO planning procedures

By Army Sgt. David Nye U.S. Army Central

Officers with the Jordan Armed Forces and the U.S. Army came together to better learn NATO planning procedures during a two-week course that ended April 4, 2018, at Jordan’s Peace Operations Training Center near Amman, Jordan.

The course was instructed and facilitated by a team of NATO officers from the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps and allowed Jordanian and American officers to see how their allies in NATO conduct mission planning. This is a skill which is expected to help participants who will take part in the upcoming Eager Lion 2018 exercise, a Jordanian-led military exercise with U.S. forces, which will take place in Jordan from April 15-26.

“I hoped to learn about NATO work and how the U.S. Army and western armies work,” said Lt. Col. Arwahd al-Masafeh, an intelligence officer in the JAF’s 3rd Armored Division. “How they plan the course and how they plan their maneuver is helpful for us to understand.”

The course exceeded students’ expectations.

“It was beyond what I anticipated,” said Maj. Rhada Mohmoud Hussein Ghada, an infantry officer and instructor at the POTC. “This course taught me a lot about the general overview of the concept of the COPD, the Comprehensive Operational Planning Directives.”

Ghada was excited for how the course’s lessons would apply during her upcoming deployment.

“It has equipped me with different skills, language skills. It has broadened my knowledge and my point of view with different things,” she said. “And actually, I will deploy next month with the United Nations in the [Democratic Republic of the Congo] and I am looking to utilize these things, and what I have learned in my planning and my work as a staff officer.”

For Lt. Col. Mahkmoud Bani-Issa, from the Military Training Directorate joint exercises senior staff, the course was valuable not only to help the students turn their mission planning into a science at their home units, but also for how it would feed into the upcoming exercise Eager Lion 2018. The exercise features U.S. and Jordanian soldiers and units working side-by-side.

“We are at the pre-period to Eager Lion,” he said. “For this reason, for the staffs and the commanders, I would like them to think clearly, ‘How is the process of operation planning and designing before starting the execution phase?’ This lesson, this main idea, it’s in general, but this main idea was the aim behind this course.”

“We have many of our American counterparts at this training and this maneuver, Eager Lion,” al-Masafeh said.

Eager Lion includes events ranging from board, search and seizure techniques to live-fire demonstrations being conducted by the U.S. and Jordanian militaries. It is designed to increase the capabilities and interoperability of the participating countries.

About 3,600 U.S. service members will travel to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to participate in U.S. Central Command’s premiere exercise in the Levant region, April 15-26. Eager Lion is a major training event that provides U.S. and Jordanian forces the opportunity to improve their collective ability to plan and operate in a coalition-type environment through scenarios that span from a long-range bomber mission to maritime security operations to a ground force attack of a fictitious adversary.