By Ensign Seth Koenig, United States Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs
AQABA FREE ZONE, Jordan (NNS) -- During Exercise Eager Lion 2015, Jordanian and U.S. forces are training shoulder-to-shoulder to be prepared for whatever challenges await.
The exercise aims to create "muscle memory" for personnel from different cultures who may need to work together seamlessly as one team if a crisis calls for a joint response.
"There is fighting going on in some neighboring countries," said Brig. Gen. Khaled Al Sharah of Jordan's King Talal 3rd Mechanized Brigade. "These kinds of exercises emphasize our readiness for any kind of crisis."
This year's exercise is the fifth annual Eager Lion, taking place in various locations around the host Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, where Jordanian and U.S. military personnel are joined by representatives of 16 other countries and international participants.
Al Sharah said Jordanians and Americans are learning to work together at three levels: Strategic, operational and tactical.
The partnership not only multiplies the manpower and equipment resources available to both sides, but also creates interoperability and personal relationships that will be established and ready when called on to respond to a real-world crisis.
"This exercise is a visible demonstration of the United States' enduring commitment to the Kingdom and people of Jordan," said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Burke Whitman, Coalition Forces Land and Maritime Component Command (CFLMCC). "It also makes us more interoperable, so that together, Jordanian and U.S. forces comprise a more flexible, more powerful crisis-response force."
U.S. Marine Corps Col. Stephen Lewallen, deputy commander of Marine Forces Central Command (FWD) and the CFLMCC chief of staff for Eager Lion, called Al Sharah both "tactically proficient and extremely engaging."
"I have truly been impressed by our Jordanian counterparts," he said. "There has been a very good balance (between Jordan and the U.S.) in putting this exercise together and working as a combined staff. This has been one of the most exciting exercises I've been involved with in a very long time - the execution has been exceptional."
During Eager Lion 2015, the CFLMCC team is coordinating responses to a series of simulated scenarios involving a fictitious enemy force. The exercise is taking place in multiple locations throughout the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, where the allied forces will face staged challenges to border security, command and control, cyber defense and battle space management.