By Sgt. Victor EverhartJune 1, 2016
One of the priorities for U.S. Army Central is shaping the environment, and a portion of that is partnership with countries in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. This year the USARCENT Contingency Command Post participated in the "Eager Lion" training exercise.
Eager Lion is consisted of a week-long series of simulated scenarios to facilitate a coordinated partnered military response to conventional and unconventional threats. The scenarios developed will include border security, command and control, cyber defense and battlespace management. With multiple units engaged with the Jordanian Armed Forces at multiple levels from platoon to staff level, learning and partnership was at the forefront of this annual exercise.
"It gave me the opportunity to see how a commanding general and deputy commanding general guide staff work and make decisions while also directing subordinate units at a high level," said Jordanian Armed Forces Brig. Gen. Mekhled Suheim, the deputy commanding general of Combined Forces Land Component Command. "I learned more about the methodic and systematic planning process the [United States Army] uses while also understanding more about non-lethal aspects like information operations and civil military operations.
Through partnership exercises like Eager Lion friendships are made and lessons are learned further complementing the initial goals of the exercise of overcoming obstacles and integrating the Jordanian Armed Forces into U.S. Army operations.
"It was an absolute pleasure working with our Jordanian Armed Forces partner, they're highly professional and in my opinion one of the best Armies I've had the privilege to work alongside with," said Lt. Col. Larry Bergeron, the U.S. Army Central provost marshal.
"I enjoyed it," said Capt. Zaid Mohammed Al Krisha, a logistics officer assigned to the Jordanian Armed Force's 60th Armored Brigade. "I'd love to work with my counterpart to gain as much knowledge as possible."
As for the contingency command post this was a culminating exercise which the group has worked toward over the past 11 months, reconstituting the command post into a ready and able unit in case of an emergency or humanitarian aid mission.
"The contingency command post has gone through a complete metamorphosis in the past seven months," said Bergeron, as he commented about the growth of the command post. "From step one of acquiring our equipment, making sure we have all the right people to being able to successfully fit the capability of combined joint interagency governmental multinational operations in any environment, the command post has come a long way."
With the growth of the contingency command post the Jordanian counterparts were impressed with appearance and professionalism of the command post accommodations and personnel.
"The CCP is a suitable and comfortable environment that contains all the planning and execution elements needed," said Suheim. "It has the right equipment and is able to be deployed easily and quickly."
The scenario of the training exercise challenged all participating forces to work and come together to complete a mission over the course of 10 days, accomplishing their given mission and displaying the exercises main goal of interoperability and integration.
"Conducting this annual exercise will continue to help us to integrate with each other and prepare for any crisis or operation that serves our mutual interest," said Suheim. ""Eager Lion is a unique opportunity. It strengthens our relationship with the [United States Army] and enhances our staff capability and knowledge, especially during a time when we face unprecedented threats in the region."