AMMAN, Jordan - U.S. Army Soldiers of the 1106th Aviation Group participated in a U.S. Army Central (ARCENT) aviation subject matter expert exchange with the Royal Jordanian Air Force at the King Abdullah II Air Base in Amman, Jordan, in June 2019.
The 1106th Aviation Group, California Army National Guard, is organized as a theater aviation sustainment maintenance group and is deployed to Kuwait providing depot level maintenance to U.S. Army aircraft across the Middle East.
During the exchange, 1106th Soldiers shared their experience on UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter beam repair and sheet metal fabrication with the Jordanians.
"This type of damage is common for this type of aircraft, you have a crack or damage to the beam, but this level of maintenance is something that the Jordanians don't have right now" said Lt. Col. Richard Brummond, Task Force Spartan aviation director. "But we have that capability and in order to get this exchange it was a group effort from on multiple organizations from the 1st Theater Sustainment Command, Task Force Spartan, U.S. ARCENT, and the U.S. Embassy."
Subject matter expert exchanges like these allow U.S. Army Soldiers to improve working relationships and interoperability with important partner forces, and it can take a lot of planning to set the plan in motion.
The U.S. Embassy in Jordan had to arrange this to aviation exchange by working with the Jordanian government, presenting the task and purposes of the mission, and what expectations and outcomes the mission could result in.
"Our mission here is to increase the capability through a partnership between the Jordanians and the unified helicopter command," said Brummond. "Exchanges like this play a large part in that partnership."
Brummond emphasized the uniqueness of this exchange.
"Jordanians are doing 99.9% of this repair, and our guys are here to help guide and step in if we need to."
Staff Sgt. Jose Medina was part of the 1106th team that shared his knowledge on sheet metal and repairing the beam.
"I am really happy to be in this situation to help everywhere and wherever I can." said Medina.
The event provides a strong foundation for future engagements and will help get the aircraft functional and increase the operational value of the Jordanian UH-60.
"The crack of this aircraft for them results in a nonmission capable aircraft, only being used for parts and scrap metal." Brummond said. "With this repair, it means the Jordanians are getting an entirely functioning aircraft once the exchange is complete and this is the outcome we are projecting and hoping for."