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US-Jordanian Military Exercise with Arab, Foreign Participation | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The launching of Eager Lion Exercise (Petra News Agency)

Amman – The Jordanian Armed Forces announced on Sunday the launching of the 7th Eager Lion military drill, which is being held with the participation of the United States and more than 20 other Arab and foreign countries.

In a news conference on Sunday, Director of joint training in the Jordanian Army, Maj. Gen. Khaled Sharaa said Eager Lion, which first began in 2011, would be held in its seventh edition at the Jordan Armed Forces- Arab Army’s training fields, with the participation of around 7,200 land, air and naval troops, representing the Jordan Armed Forces and NATO.

He noted that security agencies, ministries, governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as the National Centere for Security and Crisis Management would also take part in the drills.

Countries participating in the annual exercise would include, in addition to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Iraq, Lebanon, as well as the US, Japan, Britain, France, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Greece, Poland, Pakistan, Australia and Kenya.

Sharaa told reporters that the 11-day exercise was aimed at “boosting the capacity for planning and implementing international joint operations, setting the relationship between military forces and agencies, organizations and ministries in a non-conventional environment, exchanging military expertise and enhancing operational harmony among participating nations.”

He also said that the exercises seek to raise capabilities in combatting terrorism, border security, evacuations and humanitarian operations, crisis management, strategic communications, search and rescue operations, protection of vital installations and combatting cyber terrorism and logistical support among other objectives.

Deputy Commanding General of the US Army, Maj. Gen. William Hickman, described the Eager Lion exercise as “an excellent event that allows us to continue working with Jordanian and international forces to better confront common threats to regional security at the operational level”.