News: AAV Platoon builds bridges with Jordanian Army
Story by Cpl. Kyle N. Runnels
AL QUWEIRA, Jordan – The Marine Corps and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit have a long history of training with partner nations and conducting exercises with their militaries to increase the proficiency of all parties involved. There is more than just training involved though; it is more about forging long-lasting relationships.
On June 12, the Marines of Amphibious Assault Vehicle Platoon conducted their first bilateral training event of the many planned during Exercise Eager Lion 2013. They conducted a live-fire shoot in their AAVs with the Jordanian Armed Forces in their own light armored mechanized vehicles.
“In any training event, one of the major end states is that we build relationships and the understanding that we’re not just building military skills, but also establishing rapport on a personal and professional level,” said Capt. Jonathan Riebe, Amphibious Assault Platoon commander from Colorado Springs, Co.
“I think it’s important that we take part in these multinational operations in order to share methods on how we maintain our military and how we employ our military,” said Gunnery Sgt. Michael Conners, AAV Platoon sergeant from Fitchburg, Mass.
Eager Lion has proven to be more than just a yearly exercise in the high deserts of Jordan between the United States, Jordan and other partner nations. It is a significant training exercise solidifying already strong partnerships.
“Jordan has been a partner of ours, supporting us through Operation Enduring Freedom,” said Riebe. “Eager Lion is an annual training exercise with the Jordanians … to strengthen our military and political ties and foster a friendly relationship in the area,” said Reibe.
Marines of AAV Platoon are focusing their training by tailoring to their Jordanian hosts and thoroughly observing the Jordanian skillsets.
“We’re approaching the training in a logical fashion [by] really getting the host nation’s input on what they’re trying to get out of the training,” said Riebe. “We’re adapting the assets we have to give them the training [that will most benefit them].”
Throughout the first bilateral event, the Marines grasped the opportunity to meet with the Jordanian soldiers and learn more about their vehicles and weapons systems with help from interpreters.
The Marines of AAV Platoon and the rest of the 26th MEU will be in Jordan for the remainder of Eager Lion, training with their Jordanian and United Kingdom counterparts.