An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Feature Stories

NEWS | Sept. 5, 2019

U.S., Jordanian soldiers train shoulder to shoulder at Eager Lion 2019

By Sgt. 1st Class Darron Salzer Task Force Spartan

The morning’s early twilight loomed over the desert as soldiers from the U.S., Jordanian and British militaries prepared themselves and their equipment for an urban assault situational training exercise at a remote training village here, Sept. 2.

In a complex global environment, training side-by-side with allied and coalition partners is invaluable to the success of today’s armed forces.

“Today’s battlefield is very fluid,” said U.S. Army Capt. Alex Graves, commander of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. “Being able to work with allied nations like this- whether it be planning for weeks on a mission or short notice- shows that we can be very lethal, very productive, and be a quick reactionary [force] to any of the world’s threats that our out there today.”

Graves stressed the importance of training with allied nations because you don’t always get to pick your enemy or where you fight.

“This shows the interoperability, how we can work hand-in-hand with our partners,” he said.

“Eager Lion is just one of many [things] we are doing across the world to show that joint partnership- a unified front- to anyone who wants to come up against us and that we are a force to be reckoned with.”

A squad leader with Bravo Company, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Bryan Nuckols said training exercises like Eager Lion help to build a necessary cohesion with the Jordanian Armed Forces and other coalition partners.

If we practice like we fight we’re able to establish shared tactics, techniques and procedures, said Nuckols, so when we do go to war together we’re better equipped to work in tandem.

“It becomes second nature- it’s just natural,” he added.

Nuckols said having the opportunity to develop and refine skills he and his squad don’t often get to work on was one of several benefits of the STX.

“We don’t get to practice too much urban dismounted operations so this is definitely a big win for us,” he said.

“Usually with the Bradley’s we’re doing mounted operations and we don’t get much time to get out and hone our [dismounted] skills and our craft so this is definitely awesome,” he added. “It’s a huge village to practice in, it’s very complex and makes you think critically.”

Another invaluable benefit for Nuckols was seeing his Soldiers exchange infantry tactics with their Jordanian counterparts throughout the morning.

“Some of their tactics are different from ours, and ours are different from theirs and we also have some that are the same,” he said

“If we can do some more cross talk together, more training together, we can kinda be on one sheet of music so when we do fight together it’s nothing new,” Nuckols added.

Royal Jordanian Army Sgt. Majed Alaziyda, an infantryman with the 39th Mechanized Infantry Battalion, agreed.

“It’s been a very good training for us with the U.S. Army,” said Alaziyda with an interpreter.

We’ve benefited a lot from our training with our American allies, and have been able to share with them our experiences within the region as well as learn from theirs, he said of the partnership between the two nations.

It’s a partnership that U.S. Soldiers like Graves cannot speak about highly enough.

“[The Jordanians] have honestly rolled out the red carpet for us,” he said.

“It’s been nothing more than a pleasure to serve alongside them and enjoy not only the great amenities and great things their country has to offer, but also the professionalism of their army- their military- has been awesome.”