Dating back to 1949, when the United States established diplomatic relations with Jordan, the U.S. – Jordan partnership has been strongly valued by both nations. This is largely in part to the sharing of many strategic goals and security ideals.
In an effort of continuing to maintain and strengthen this partnership with the JAF, troops and units deployed in support of CENTCOM’s Operation Spartan Shield routinely work with the JAF in both training and security strengthening capacities. This is no different for the 111th Theater Engineer Brigade (TEB), currently deployed to the CENTCOM Area of Operations.
“The partnership that we as the Theater Engineer Brigade have with the JAF Corps of Engineers is one of the strongest I have seen in my career which spans over 20 years,” said Col. Robert Kincaid, 111th TEB commander. “The partnerships that are created with our allies in the CENTCOM region is crucial to the success of our mission and for the overall security of the United States and our partner nations.”
As the TEB, the 111th is ultimately responsible for the successful completion of engineering projects spanning thousands of miles over eight countries. In Jordan alone, the 111th has a presence in nearly half a dozen locations across the country and routinely works with the JAF Corps of Engineers.
Much of this work is only possible because of the built trust that the nations have made over the decades.
“We continue to build trust through working and training together,” said Kincaid. “We will learn from them and they will learn from us. It really does not matter what the type or caliber of the training is, the important part is that we are working together.”
Previous joint training between the U.S. Army and JAF Corps of Engineers has ranged from tactics and techniques, to reviewing the military decision making processes and battlefield analysis methods.
By focusing on such training events, this allows these two nations to work and prevail against the most complex challenges together.
“When training events occur, this means we can foster further growth for both of our nations,” said 1st Lt. Matt Moore, a 111th TEB liaison officer currently stationed in Jordan. “Knowledge sharing is the foundation of any successful endeavor.”
In addition to Moore, the other 111th Soldiers currently stationed in Jordan play a large role in fostering this partnership.
Their role not only includes ensuring that the training and side-by-side work with the JAF occurs, but also to broaden themselves in order to bring their experiences back to the U.S. upon re-deployment.
“The U.S. Soldiers under the TEB have been very excited to interact and train alongside the Jordanian Armed Forces to learn about how they operate and where there may be similarities in functionality in their own jobs,” said Moore. “I believe that fostering an environment of shared understanding helps Soldiers feel more connected to the mission at hand and understand more clearly why they do what they do.”
With warm welcomes from the JAF and the enduring partnership between the two countries, the continued presence of the U.S. military in Jordan, has also ensured that the country is safer and more stable.
“Jordan is situated in a region that can be very hostile at times,” said Kincaid. “By working together, we become more effective when it comes time to deal with terrorist cells and other threats.”
General Kenneth McKenzie, commander of the Central Command, recently met with the JAF Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and discussed the enduring defeat of ISIS, border security and ways to expand defense cooperation and modernization last month.
According to McKenzie, “Jordan has an unmatched ability to engage stakeholders from different cultures and points of view. Thanks to King Abdullah II’s leadership and the Jordan Armed Forces’ capabilities, the kingdom continues to be an exceptionally reliable partner and champion of regional peace and stability.”
Kincaid echoes the sentiment of McKenzie and is proud of the 111th TEB’s efforts to continue this partnership.
“By working together, we are meeting the expectation that our nations are relying on us for– building trust and helping provide stabilization,” said Kincaid.