NEWS | April 11, 2018

Jordanian, U.S. forces practice mortar fires together

By Sgt. David Nye U.S. Army Central

Jordanian and U.S. soldiers traded infantry tactics and protocols during bilateral training at Jordan’s Joint Training Center near Amman, Jordan, April 11, 2018.

While the training is part of the Jordan Operational Engagement Program, or JOEP, the units involved in the training are building interoperability that will likely benefit them in the upcoming Eager Lion 2018 exercise that is scheduled for April 15-26 but separate from JOEP.

“Today we’re training with 4th Company from the Jordanian 11th [Mechanized],” said Staff Sgt. Allen Loretz, a noncommissioned officer with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment., also known as 1-184 IR. “They’re here in the JOEP program.”

“It just so happens that the unit that we’re training now, one of the companies will be participating in Eager Lion,” Loretz said.

At the April 11 training event, U.S. and Jordanian soldiers traded infantry tactics related to calling for fire support, clearing buildings, conducting mortar fires, entry control point procedures, and other key maneuver tasks.

“What we’re doing on our lane here is we give them various scenarios for them to roll through,” Loretz said while describing the entry control point, or ECP, procedures training that the bilateral force engaged in. “Today we did a border crossing. We did unruly civilians trying to get through your ECP, and then different scenarios. It was pretty good training.”

For the indirect fire infantrymen conducting training on mortars, it was important for the U.S. Soldiers and Jordanians to learn about each force’s equipment and procedures to ensure accuracy and safety on the range.

“There’s always a little bit of a learning curve, but our linguists are on point,” Sgt. John Brennan, battalion mortar sections noncommissioned officer, 1-184 IR. “Most of the guys get the concepts, and the guys who are a little stronger with it, they go back and they help teach those guys, make sure they’re sped up.”

“Communication’s extremely important, especially on the mortar line,” said Brennan. “Deflection data, any data that we get from fire direction control, needs to be spot on, needs to be accurate. It translates into accuracy downrange. One mil of difference at 1,000 meters is a big deal, so we definitely stress accuracy.”

For U.S. indirect fire infantryman Spc. Vincent Cortez, B Company, 1-184 IR, the experience has allowed him to both learn techniques that other militaries use and practice a little Arabic.

“As we’ve been training with them, they’ve been trying to pick up words that we use and we’ve been trying to learn what they use,” said Cortex, “and, for the most part, we kind of generally understand each other just with body language and the small amount of words that we both know.”

“Really humbling experience here,” he continued. “I’ve learned a lot from them as they’ve learned from me. For the most part, we all just have a good time training here.”