JOINT TRAINING CENTER, Jordan -- U.S. forces provide support by fire as Jordanian Armed Forces soldiers clear a town building-by-building. This was the scene during the Eager Lion 16 exercise, May 24. The annual event culminated with a combined arms live fire exercise between the U.S. and Jordanian militaries.
"Exercises like Eager Lion 16 aim to decrease the friction points between the JAF soldiers and U.S. forces as they work together to reinforce our partnership," said Lt. Col. Charles Canon, the chief military assistance action officer with the U.S. Embassy in Jordan. "The [combined arms live-fire exercise] shows the enemies in the region that we are committed to prevent and stop violent extremism."

Lt. Gen. Michael X. Garrett, U.S. Army Central commanding general, said the U.S will never operate alone in today's modern battlefield. As the U.S. incorporates other military services and coalition partners, it will be better prepared for future conflicts around the world.

"USARCENT is committed to integrating our host nation partners in everything we do," said Garrett. "I want our Soldiers to interact with their host nation counterparts in order to make our friendships stronger."

Each year, planning for Eager Lion alternates between the JAF and U.S. forces. This year Jordan took the lead in planning the exercise. According to the operations plan of Eager Lion 16, the training objectives were chosen to allow each service to work effectively side-by-side and incorporate their counterparts to the fullest.

"Eager Lion is a unique opportunity for us," said Jordan Army Brig. Gen. Mekhled Suheim, a military counselor at the Embassy of Jordan. "It strengthens our relationship with the U.S. and it enhances our capability and knowledge. As we continue to conduct these exercises, our partnership and friendship will grow and we will continue to refine our procedures, ensuring we are ready for any future crisis."
Before the CALFEX, Garrett attended an operations briefing and was updated on the progress of the two nations and challenges they solved together.

At the brief, Garrett told the soldiers that partnership events like Eager Lion are key to building a more secure region.
"Including our coalition partners is paramount as we move forward in the region," said Garrett. "Our friendships and partnerships with local militaries will not only strengthen and secure the Middle East, it will build the capabilities of all involved."
As USARCENT prepares for Eager Lion 17, USARCENT Soldiers continue to work with the Jordanian and other coalition forces to secure the region and strengthen partnerships.