The 2019 “Eager Lion” military training drill has kicked off in Jordan on Sunday, August 25, and runs through September 5, with 8,000 participants from Jordan, the U.S. and 27 other countries.
According to the drill’s media spokesperson Brigadier General Mohammed Thalji, the exercise contributes to developing the alignment ability with brotherly and friendly countries to achieve strategic goals that enhance cooperation and preparedness among the participating nations in the field of combating terrorism, emulating conventional and unconventional operations, in addition to command measures, and cybersecurity
At a press conference at the King Abdullah II Center for Special Operations Training (KASOTC), held to announce the launch of the events, Thalji said the exercise comes within the strategic efforts of the Jordanian Armed Forces - Arab Army to strengthen relations with participating countries in all military fields, especially in the training domain, Petra news agency reported.
The Saudi armed forces and a large number of Arab forces are participating at Eager Lion 2019.
Commander of the Saudi forces participating in the exercise Brigadier Ja’far Hadi Al-Qahtani said that the exercise aims to achieve many objectives, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
It also aims at developing the participants’ ability to plan, execute joint operations, and exchange experience between the Saudi armed forces and their counterparts in other forces, he added.
The multilateral exercise, which has been held in Jordan annually since 2011, enables participating forces to exchange military expertise, promotes regional security and improves interoperability among partner nations.
The drill offers participating nations “the opportunity to improve their collective ability to plan and operate in a coalition-type environment,” according to a statement by the US Central Command Public Affairs office.
Participating forces will train for scenarios such as “long-range bomber missions, maritime security operations and cyber threats”, it said.
Military-to-military engagement can involve training, seminars for senior leadership, public visits or private phone calls, all of which can increase understanding and co-operation among partner nations, the statement said.
Exercises in particular “demonstrate the value of operating in unfamiliar environments, maximizing our collective strengths and building trust”, it added.
Eager Lion 2019 aims to “address common threats to regional security at the operational level and facilitates multilateral training in a relatively low-threat but demanding environment”, the statement said.
This year’s exercise sustains the momentum of previous drills, the statement added, and will build on training events that have been conducted before, such as the Global Strike Mission and Senior Leader Seminar.
“We also have developed new ideas and scenarios to improve participating nations’ ability to outsmart and outmaneuver our near-peer adversaries,” the CENTCOM statement said, referring to nations with similar technology and capabilities.
Eager Lion 2019 training also will focus on countering unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and cyber operations.
Participating nations will deliver a clear, unified message that relationships matter, the statement said, noting that participating forces must remain committed to increasing understanding and maintaining ready and responsive forces.