ZARQA, Jordan (Army News Service, June 11, 2013) -- Exercise Eager Lion kicked off in Jordan this week as U.S. service members began training with military forces from 19 nations.
The multi-national exercise, which runs June 9-20, began with a press conference in which Maj. Gen. Robert Catalanotti, director of exercises and training for U.S. Central Command, explained how impressed he was with the Jordanian way of running the training.
"We from the United States are following behind our lead, the Jordanians, this year, who have really taken this exercise to a great level after building it over the last four years," Catalanotti said.
Eager Lion is designed to strengthen military-to-military partnerships and enhance security and stability in the region by responding to realistic, modern-day security scenarios, according to U.S. Central Command. This year's scenarios will focus on integrated air and missile defense, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, officials said.
Around 5,000 U.S. service members are participating in the exercise. Included among those are Soldiers with a U.S. Army Patriot missile battery that deployed in order to participate.
"This exercise is designed to encounter national security challenges such as counterinsurgency, border security, close air support and integration of the whole of government," said Maj. Gen. Awni al Adwan, chairman of joint task force with the Jordanian Army. He spoke during the press conference announcing the beginning of Eager Lion 2013.
In hosting the military training exercise, Jordan is opening its doors to allow more than 8,000 participants who will be conducting operations by land, air and sea.
Eager Lion includes events ranging from board, search and seizure techniques to live-fire demonstrations being conducted by the participating militaries. It is designed to increase the capabilities and partnerships of the participating countries.
"Eager Lion is an excellent example of teamwork that brings together military forces and inter-agency partners from around the world," Catalanotti said. "This exercise challenges the participants to respond to realistic, modern-day security scenarios by integrating a variety of disciplines in the air, on land and at sea. Our relationship with Jordan and the 19 partner nations involved in the exercise is built on a foundation of interoperability that brings us closer together and enhances regional stability."
Eager Lion culminates with a massive display of sea-land capabilities, June 18-20.