U.S. Army Central Arab Cultural Awareness Training in Jordan

Friday December 12, 2008

What is it?

U.S. Army Central's (USARCENT's) annual cultural awareness training, held at the Peace Operation Training Center in Zarqa, Jordan, is conducted in support of its theater security cooperation program. It consists of six rotations, one three-day senior leader seminar for sergeants major and field-grade officers and five rotations of junior leader training.

The training consists of topics relating to customs within the Arabic culture such as hierarchy of tribes and the structure of Iraqi society, social structure for a family, women in the Arabic society, Iraqi do's and don'ts, and Arabic language.

Junior leader rotations include three situational training exercises taught by the Jordanian Army focusing on checkpoints, searching buildings and mounted patrols as well as how to interact with the media when searching or clearing a family's home or mosque that is being used to store money and weapon caches to support the insurgency.

What has the Army done?

U.S. Central Command directed that USARCENT conduct the training which is taught in partnership with the Jordanian Armed Forces. It has been held annually since October 2003 and is a key training platform and integral piece of the Forces Command training strategy for deploying Operation Iraqi Freedom / Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) forces.

Why is this important to the Army?

The National Military Strategic Plan for the war on terrorism (NMSP-WOT) emphasizes that the Department of Defense "must be aware of the culture, customs, language and philosophy of affected populations and the enemy, to more effectively counter extremism, and encourage democracy, freedom, and economic prosperity abroad." USARCENT addresses this guidance through this training in hopes of promoting multinational involvement and international cooperation and strengthening the relationships between countries in the Middle East.

What is planned for the future?

USARCENT is scheduled to conduct their annual cultural awareness training at the Peace Operation Training Center in Zarqa, Jordan, Feb. 15 to April 15, 2009. The training is available to all U.S. service members, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, U.S. Army Reserve Command, and National Guard. The deadline for registration is Dec. 19 - 20, 2008.


Points of contact for reservations:

Active component: Maj. Alfredo E. Ferrer at 404-464-4973,

National Guard: Maj. Enrique Rivera at 703-607-8357 and

U.S. Army Reserve: Maj. Teresa Walker at 404-464-8259


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