In the News

TF 51/5 to rehearse capabilities during bilateral engagement in Levant region

By Captain Monica Witt


Naval Amphibious Forces, Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (TF 51/5) commenced participation in the eighth consecutive iteration of exercise Eager Lion with the Jordan Armed Forces April 15, 2018, in vicinity of Aqaba, Jordan.


 Eager Lion is a keystone training event for the U.S.-Jordan partnership, providing the opportunity for U.S. forces and the Jordan Armed Forces (JAF) to rehearse operating together in a coalition environment and to pursue new ways to collectively address regional threats to security.


 During Eager Lion, TF 51/5 is conducting a command post exercise (CPX) that poses a fictional adversary and simulates challenges that reflect potential issues the real-world operating environment, including border security, command and control, cyber defense and battlespace management.


“The CPX is an opportunity for TF 51/5 and the Jordan Armed Forces to improve our ability to collectively address unconventional and conventional threats,” said Col. Martin Wetterauer, deputy commander for TF 51/5 and director of the Eager Lion Coalition Forces Land Component Command. “Integrating systems and processes builds trust and prepares our forces to pursue common objectives.”


TF 51/5 also deployed a Forward Command Element to provide command and control, logistical, administrative, and communications support to subordinate units participating in Eager Lion at sea, from the sea and ashore.


“Operating as a forward command element is fundamental to our expeditionary nature and sharpens our ability to execute mission-essential tasks in an unfamiliar, austere environment,” said Col. Howard Hall, TF 51/5 director of operations.


The field training exercise will include a multitude of engagements between the JAF and TF 51/5 subordinate units, ranging from non-lethal weapons training; a vertical assault; non-combatant evacuation; visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS); fire support coordination; and various live-fire ranges.


“The Jordanians are longstanding, reliable partners of the U.S. and of our strongest relationships in the Levant sub-region,” Hall said. “Our continued integration speaks to a mutual commitment to prevailing against complex challenges.”