JOINT TRAINING CENTER, Jordan - After 12 weeks of shoulder to shoulder training, Jordan's Princess Basma 3rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion concluded its successful partnership with U.S. Army Central's 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, with an urban live-fire exercise Jan. 19-21.
This training was important to both the Jordanian Armed Forces and USARCENT because it strengthened interoperability between the two allies and is part of USARCENT's efforts to improve security and stability in the region.
"The relationship took hold very quickly from day one," said Staff Sgt. Felix Molina, senior scout, Troop C, 5-4 Cavalry. "We started out with basic rifle marksmanship and from there had a great relationship going forward. They trusted us, we trusted them and we have built a great work rapport."
During the culminating live-fire exercise, Soldiers from Troop C played the opposing force for the Jordanian infantry companies. The 2nd and 3rd Companies conducted the training first, providing support by fire and dismounted bounding attacks.
"The performance of my squad was perfect," said Sgt. Hamad Youssef Al-Kayed, squad leader, 2nd Company, 3rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion. "The coordination between the commander and (the soldiers) was at a very good level. It was a great experience for us."
On the final day, 1st Company proved why Jordanian military leadership deem them "the best company." As higher leadership looked on, 1st Company led a series of coordinated attacks, moving infantry into place while being supported by mounted .50-caliber machine guns and Javelin missiles. Finally, after all ground units were in place, JAF soldiers dismounted their M113 personnel carriers through thick clouds of smoke, seized the objective and overwhelmed the opposition force.
"A good part about this exercise is we are training with a battalion that we know will be utilized in the defense of Jordan," said Lt. Col. Brad Duplessis, commander, 5-4 Cavalry. "So it's a great mission for us, and a great environment for the JAF because there is an impetus to train well. There is a real reason behind why we pick the tasks we train and why we do it under conditions that they may have to replicate in the future."
According to Duplessis, many of 5-4 Cavalry Soldiers playing the opposing force received valuable experience during the training by performing duties well above their assigned mission.
"Our guys have learned an incredible amount," he said. "A lot of our junior Soldiers and NCOs are doing jobs that are preparing them for [duty positions two levels up]. So, everyday my Soldiers are preparing for jobs they will be doing in the next five or 10 years."
Both U.S. and JAF leadership look forward to continued partnership training in the future, adding that interoperability is an important factor on the battlefield.
"When we train and partner with this battalion, we fully understand that we are preparing a battalion to go out on the border and protect their homes," Duplessis said. "As Americans, ever since September 11th, all my Soldiers understand the importance of that."
"Our enemy is the same as our U.S. allies' enemy," added Capt. Ahmed Obeidat, with 3rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion. "This training gives us a good opportunity to learn how to deal with these enemies. So if we work together someday in the future, we will both be aware of how others do it. If I work with Americans I will know how they execute missions and they will know how we do also."