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Members of the Jordanian 77th Marines Battalion advance to clear a room during a military operation in urban terrain tactics exercise in Al Quweyrah, Jordan, May 16, 2016. Eager Lion is a recurring exercise between partner nations designed to strengthen military-to-military relationships, increase interoperability, and enhance regional security and stability.

Photo by Cpl. Paul S. Martinez

Eager Lion 16 begins with explosives range, MOUT tactics

19 May 2016 | Cpl. Paul S. Martinez II Marine Expeditionary Force

Marines with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division began their training period alongside the Jordanian 77th Marines Battalion with a grenade range and military operations in urban terrain tactics exercise in in Al Quweyrah, Jordan, May 16, 2016.

Marines began their day of training with MOUT tactics that included exterior to interior movement of buildings following the steps of reconnaissance of an area, isolation of the area, gaining a foothold and holding security. 

“We had participants communicate and approach their objective, while security ensured fire wouldn’t come from other directions,” said Cpl. Caleb J. Heinsz, a team leader with Alpha Company. “We covered how to get through windows and doorways, and identify if those entrances have improvised explosive devices.”

The exercise was repeated with separate teams of Marines and Jordanians before an integration of the two was applied and the drills completed successfully.

“Being out here helps build relationships, not just between us and the Jordanians but with each other. Operations like this allow us to really bond and develop the way we work together,” Heinsz said.

Jordanian forces expressed their enthusiasm for the training opportunity.

“There is very strong interaction alongside the Marines,” said Sgt. Shekh Saad Mara Raahnk, an instructor with the Jordanian 77th Marines Battalion. “We are all benefitting from the positive points coming from this training by getting experience and learning from each other.”

The two forces also reinforced their use of grenades and rocket launchers, with Marines and Jordanians working in teams of two to engage targets downrange with rifles before tossing a training grenade or firing a simulated rocket.

“I think this is good training, especially for our newer Marines,” said Cpl. Patrick Farmer, a squad leader with Co. A. “They are training alongside allied nationals for the first time, and working hand in hand together is great.”

The Jordanians also recognized the value of the day’s training.

“The main point of this training is to showcase the strong relationship between United States Marines and the Jordanian Armed Forces, and the professionalism we have in our training,” Raahnk said.

Many Jordanians are training with Marines for the first time, though some are familiar with the capability of combined strength.

“I have been in the service for eleven years and I am honored to say I have worked with U.S. Marines in the past,” Raahnk said. “We respect each other, we learn from each other and share what we do.”

Eager Lion is a recurring exercise between partner nations designed to strengthen military-to-military relationships, increase interoperability, and enhance regional security and stability.

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