Third Army, Jordan look to improve JAF NCO Corps
October 18, 2011
ZARQA, Jordan, Oct. 18, 2011 -- A Third Army/ARCENT contingency traveled to the Noncommissioned Officer Academy to meet with officers, leaders of the schoolhouse and NCOs of all ranks here Sept. 21.
Members of the Jordanian Armed Forces, or JAF, are looking to restructure their NCO corps, and are seeking guidance from Third Army. The Soldiers who traveled here spent time conversing with Jordanian service members, observing training and taking mental observations.
"There was great participation upon the soldiers from the JAF," said Sgt. 1st Class Sidney Curtis, Arabian Peninsula/Levant Branch noncommissioned officer in charge. "They asked many questions."
One question often asked was why leaders of the JAF are looking to strengthen and empower its NCOs. As the ideology of what role an NCO plays evolves, so too does the focus of the school.
"We are concerned about our NCOs because we work with multinational forces; friends and brothers from so many parts of the world," said Jordanian Brig. Gen. Issam Al-Sweelmeen, NCO Academy commandant. "Our mission now is to develop and train our NCOs to take responsibility in the future."
For the U.S. Soldiers who've been closely working with Jordanian forces throughout the last number of years, advancement in capabilities of the JAF is evident.
"Since I started coming to Jordan three and a half years ago, I've participated in many different seminars, symposiums and information exchanges," Curtis said. "I've seen improvement in their forces every time, especially with their NCOs, from the battalion level to JAF Headquarters."
One big source of improvement has been sending Jordanian troops to training courses in the U.S.
"I have been working with the Jordanian army for two years," said Sgt. Maj. Amanda Smith, senior enlisted advisor to military assistance program, U.S. Embassy in Jordan. "We've had 80 JAF personnel who have gone to the Warrior Leader Course at Fort Bliss, Texas."
Attending WLC is just one step of the overall training program that Jordanian leaders hope will once again make their NCOs the backbone of the Army.
"The process starts off by Jordanian soldiers attending the Defense Language School, then WLC, and then they shadow American Soldiers while at WLC," Smith said. "After all that is done, they come back and we reintegrate them into their army, where they can get the officers to really notice they are a valuable asset to the Army."
Since joint U.S.-Jordan training missions have been successful so far, Curtis said he'd advise for the program to continue.
"I recommend continuing to send Jordanian soldiers to the U.S.," stated Curtis. "We had one guy come back and explained what he did. To him, it was a completely different world. He came back with a totally different mindset as an NCO so he could train his soldiers."
The journey to Texas is quite a long one from within the borders of Jordan, but worth every second of sleeplessness, adapting to a new culture and jet lag.
"I learned a lot of things," said Cpl. Ahmad Rbaba'AH, clerk for the Jordanian army. "My job isn't in the field, but I increased my leadership values and personality and learned how to deal with soldiers in the field.
Rbaba'AH uses his friends, his peers and his inspirations as motivation to continue to better himself, his service and his home.
"I hope to be like my friends, the sergeants, and have more responsibility in my army," Rbaba'AH said. "The development of the army is development for my country."
As the Jordanian NCO corps strengthens daily, JAF leaders are encouraged by U.S. involvement and look for continued joint missions in the future.
"The U.S. and Jordan have mutual cooperation," Al-Sweelmeen stated. "In the future, I hope we will continue to hold combined training with the U.S. Army."
Third Army is keeping its service members ready tonight to sustain the fight by building allies and relationships with our partners in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.