By By Air Force Staff Sgt. Aaron RognstadJuly 29, 2009
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (7/9/2009) - In the first such trip of its kind under the Colorado National Guard State Partnership Program, Jordanian water engineers got a feel for what American waste water treatment plants look like and how they operate.
A group of five civilian hydro-engineers, the financial director of the ministry of water and irrigation of Jordan, and a brigadier general in the Jordanian army took part in the six-day visit, which included stops at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, the Colorado School of Mines in Golden and the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver to speak to hydrologists.
The outing was part of the CONG State Partnership Program, which fosters strong military-to-military and civilian-to-military foreign relations with allied countries.
This was the first civilian-to-military visit in Colorado. American civilian hydro-engineers will soon visit Jordan to tour a waste water plant to gain knowledge of Jordan's water systems and to develop ever-increasing friendly relations with the allied partners.
Brig. Gen. Mofareh Tarawneh is the strategic planning director of the International Cooperation Department in Jordan. In short, he's somewhat of an ambassador to multiple countries and attempts to promote civil foreign relations in the line of defense.
"Jordan and Colorado have almost the same problems with water issues. We have experienced shortages and they are a permanent issue in our country," Tarawneh said in near-perfect articulate English. "This (visit) is to establish the cooperation between both of us (Jordan and Colorado). We want to be able to ultimately form a partnership in the area of water issues."
Escorting the Jordanians around the waste water treatment plant at the Air Force Academy was Air Force Lt. Col. Jace Davey, commander of the 10th Civil Engineer Squadron at the school. "Usually when folks come here they want to see the chapel and the cadets," Davey said. "This is the first time that anyone's wanted to see the waste water treatment plant."
Jordan partnered with Colorado five years ago and will continue to participate in the program funded by National Guard Bureau.