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Feature Stories

NEWS | Aug. 26, 2019

Proper planning provides successful foundation for Eager Lion 19

By Sgt. 1st Class Darron Salzer Task Force Spartan

The field commanders from U.S. and Jordanian land forces participating in Eager Lion 19 came together for the first time during an initial planning conference in the heart of the Jordanian desert Aug. 19.

The meeting between senior leaders from the U.S. Army’s 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division and 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, and Jordan’s 6th Border Guard and 39th Mechanized Infantry Battalion, was an opportunity to synchronize the training expectations for each unit ahead of the coalition exercise.

“This event [helps] maintain interoperability and assists us with understanding how the coalition forces will fight together,” said U.S. Army Maj. Eric Malaske, the battalion operations officer with 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, adding that having everybody on the same page beforehand is crucial to a successful exercise.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Omar Minott, the 1st Squadron commander, agreed, especially ahead of Eager Lion’s upcoming situational training and combined arms live-fire exercises.

“Coordination meetings like this are key prior to the STX and CALFEX,” said Minott.

Minott and the 1-102nd have been training their Jordanian Armed Forces counterparts in individual and collective infantryman tactics, up to the company level, for several weeks and will be working closely with them during Eager Lion.

“It’s very important for us to learn each other’s tactics, techniques and procedures,” he stated. “Seeing how the Jordanians execute their tasks and how we execute ours, being able to learn from each other prior to execution, is very important for a successful operation.”

Eager Lion provides the perfect opportunity for the U.S. military to strengthen capacity and enhance military interoperability with partners from across the Middle East.

“It’s very important for us to be able to both train and operate together [against] mutual threats, both internal to Jordan and external to Jordan,” Minott said. “Being able to counter them is key to the security of both the U.S. and Jordan, and there is no better way to test it than coming out here and executing Eager Lion.”

In its ninth year, Eager Lion is the premiere training event of U.S. Central Command in the Levant region, providing forces from the U.S., Jordan and 28 other participating nations the opportunity to improve their ability to plan and operate in a coalition-type environment.

The multi-national exercise includes air, land and sea training scenarios against fictitious adversaries that culminate with a combined arms live fire exercise.