NEWS | Oct. 24, 2018

Wisconsin Army National Guard team partners with Jordan Armed Forces

By Sgt. Fatima Konteh U.S. Army Central

Looking out from a Jordanian security border tower, you can see nothing but sand for hundreds of miles in all directions. With the Syrian border to the north and the Iraqi border to the east, the Jordanian Armed Forces take pride in defending their country's safety.

“They [Jordan Armed Forces] are very proud of their country and defending its' borders; they are the first line of defense of Jordan,” stated U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Joseph Wong, assistant operations NCO with the 157th Military Engagement Team, Wisconsin National Guard.

This engagement, like many others, consisted of observing the 4th Border Guard Force Battalion Mobile Training Team demonstrating react-to-contact battle drills, border security operations, and tactical combat casualty care.

“It's always great hanging out with the Jordanians and working them,” said U.S. Army Capt. Jeffrey Koehler, operations officer of the 157th Military Engagement Team. “They're very receptive to the feedback we provide and it's great to get their feedback and a view on how they do things.”

The MET, which is stationed through out the Middle East, works extensively with partner nation militaries like the JAF in support of fostering interoperability and sustaining open lines of communication.

Getting to know the JAF on a more personal level makes discussing quick-reaction techniques and border security operations easier while also opening up opportunities for integration and collaboration between the two militaries.

Koehler highlighted “being able to sit down with the same Soldiers for days at a time, you really get to know them and build rapport.”

On a monthly basis, the MET and JAF continue to build positive working relationships through joint military exercises and training. This continuity allows the MET to better prepare for military-to-military engagements and conduct effective exchange of best practices between partner nation capabilities.

After completing a 3-day subject matter expert exchange with JAF Soldiers from different companies within the 4th Border Guard Force Battalion and their senior leaders, Soldiers from the 157th MET enjoy working with their JAF counterparts and strengthening relationships.

“For this SMEE [ subject matter expert exchange] specifically our intent was to observe their mobile training team and provide any advice to improve and develop their training,” said Wong. “In the future we will continue to conduct SMEEs on different topics and remain engaged with the soldiers.”