News: Eager Lion 12 religious conference gives faith a forum
Story by Staff Sgt. Julius Clayton
AMMAN, Jordan -- A religion focused Table-Top Exercise was hosted by the Jordanian armed forces at the Prince Hassan Academy for Islamic Studies from May 7-10 here during Exercise Eager Lion 12.
Table-top exercises, or TTXs are designed for constructive discussion as participants examine and resolve simulated problems focusing on plans, policies, roles and coordination.
“This TTX was focused on explaining the role of chaplain assistants in the U.S. Military because they don’t yet have such a position in the [Jordanian Armed Forces],” said Sgt. 1st Class Sharon Lamorie-Jones, Combined Joint Task Force Spartan Religious Support Team chaplain’s assistant.
“We discussed how religious support teams work with their service members, command teams, local community and civilians in a combat and garrison environment,” she said.
“Our goal at Eager Lion is to learn to work together and learn things from them and hopefully they will learn something from us, like our use of the chaplain assistant program which is something they don’t currently utilize,” said CH (Lt. Col.) Douglas Arendsee, Combined Joint Task Force Spartan Religious Support Team chaplain.
The objectives of this TTX include the facilitation of religious leader engagement in a military-to- military and a military-to-civilian setting enabling integrated operations, mutual growth, learning and respect of one another.
CH (Lt. Col.) Paul Linzey, Command Exercise Control Group Religious Support Team chaplain said, “Religious leader engagements are critical in this part of the world, so we need to understand and respect each other.”
“Exercises like this help to foster dialogue and further cooperation between us and our coalition partners,” said Linzey.
Other objectives of the TTX revolved around coordinating robust religious affairs involvement in Eager Lion 12 and providing direct religious support to personnel participating in the exercise.
“To build this understanding through a military exercise you don’t exclude the human factor and the most influential element within the human factor is religion,” said Father Nabil D. Haddad, Executive Director of The Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center, a guest speaker at the TTX.
He said, “I believe this exercise is important to build and strengthen the partnership, and these people you work with can become a catalyst for change against ignorance and hatred.”
“A success to us for this exercise would be [to] come out liking each other and respecting each other, as well as coming out with a renewed respect and hopefully some working relationships,” said Arendsee.
Eager Lion 12’s focus is to strengthen military-to-military relationships of the 19 participating partner nations through a joint, multinational approach, integrating all instruments of national power to meet current and future complex national security challenges.