Defense

June 11, 2014

Airmen wrap up ‘Eager Lion’ over Jordan skies

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SSgt. Brigitte N. Brantley
Jordan

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 13th Fighter Squadron at Misawa Air Base, Japan, takes to the skies over an air base in northern Jordan May 29, 2014, during Exercise Eager Lion. Throughout the two-week exercise, service members from more than 20 partner nations joined together at locations throughout Jordan to build functional capacity, enhance readiness and promote interoperability.

 
For the past two weeks, airmen from around the world converged in Jordan to provide airpower to sister services and partner nations throughout Exercise Eager Lion 2014.

Between May 25 and June 8, the scenarios that played out over the skies of Jordan included various air-to-air and air-to-ground missions that were possible because of the efforts of all the Airmen involved.

“Eager Lion is a fantastic exercise when you look at the size and scope,” said Brig. Gen. Kevin Schneider, Eager Lion air component coordination element and 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander. “It involves 20 nations right now, and thousands and thousands of soldier, sailors, airmen and Marines from those nations. As I look to the future, it’s for continued expansion and continued development.”

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the Royal Jordanian Air Force takes to the skies over an air base in northern Jordan May 29, 2014, during Exercise Eager Lion. More than 12,500 personnel from five continents participated in the exercise.

This is the fourth iteration of the exercise, and featured continued interaction and sharing of experiences at all levels, from the maintainers who put the jets in the air to pilots who helped plan the exercise’s scenarios.

“As with any exercise, it’s about getting pilots together, letting them plan together and letting them fly together,” said Maj. Ali Shabana, an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot with the Royal Jordanian air force. “We all have the same name for missions, but we execute them in different ways. The benefit that we get from exercising with the U.S. and other countries is that guys who have a lot of experience with real-world situations are able to share that experience.”

For all partner nations involved, sharing those experiences leads to a new, mutual experience that will benefit them in the future.

“When I look at building relationships, Eager Lion is a tremendous foundation for continuing to do more together and continuing to learn from each other,” said Schneider. “My favorite part of the exercise was seeing the multinational partners, pilots and crews focused on doing the mission. We all grow up learning different languages, but we all eventually learn to speak the language of aviation.”
 

An F-4 Phantom II from the Turkish Air Force flies during a mission at Exercise Eager Lion May 29, 2014, over an air base in northern Jordan. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines from more than 20 partner nations came together for two weeks.




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