AL QUWEYRAH, Jordan -- Marines with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division and the Jordanian 77th Marines Battalion concluded their training period together with a final exercise as part of Eager Lion 16 in Al Quweyrah, Jordan, May 24, 2016.
Eager Lion is an annual military exercise organized by United States Central Command between the Kingdom of Jordan and the United States, preparing both forces to fight alongside one another.
Throughout the training evolution, which began May 15, both forces honed their skills in squad attacks, patrolling, military operations in urban terrain and the operation of various weapon systems. Their final exercise required the two forces to work together in clearing two separate towns occupied by an opposing force.
“I’m thankful and grateful for this opportunity that we got with the Marines to practice, gain experience and assess where we are in terms of readiness,” said Jordanian Lt. Col. Hisham, the commanding officer of the 77th Marines Battalion.
Observing the exercise was an entourage of officers with the Jordanian Armed Forces, including Jordanian Brig. Gen. Ibrahim, the commander of the Royal Jordanian Naval Forces.
“The objective of this exercise was to work together and learn from each other,” Ibrahim said. “I think this has been achieved today. This is all about being professionals that defend our respective countries.”
Making use of flares, smoke grenades, squad maneuver and support by fire positions, the two forces worked side-by-side to gain ground on their objectives and clear buildings one by one. The exercise was concluded with a casualty evacuation from each battalion.
Following completion, leadership from both forces congratulated their battalions for their progress, while also exchanging gifts and appreciation for their strengthened partnership as allied military forces.
“Our actions here are a small part in the long-term relationship between our two countries,” said Lt. Col. Eric Reid, the commanding officer of 1/2. “The 77th Marines Battalion did good out here and should be proud. I think that this battalion has the potential to be whatever it needs to be for the Kingdom of Jordan.”
Eager Lion is a recurring exercise between partner nations designed to strengthen military-to-military relationships, increase interoperability, and enhance regional security and stability.