Bringing Efforts Together in Jordan

The most recent iteration of Exercise Eager Lion in Jordan was the largest yet, but Air Forces Central Command also anticipates a steady expansion of smaller engagements between the United States and Jordan. The relationship between the US and Jordanian air forces has evolved significantly since the late 1990s, with events like Eager Tiger, an F-16 exercise, followed by the Falcon Air Meet competition, and now the multinational Eager Lion, which subsumed the FAM and several smaller activities to leverage capabilities and savings, said Stanley Graves, the Jordan desk officer in AFCENT’s plans and programs directorate, in a July 16 interview. What was done over the course of a year is now done in more or less a centralized timeframe, he said. “When you do that, you get opportunities and chances to do things you might not otherwise get, with more aircraft, more assets in place,” said Graves. While Eager Lion has grabbed headlines, he said more work would be done in the future with what he called “small ball”—personnel engagements, officer exchanges, and other activities that are less expensive than large exercises, but build a great deal of capacity and mutual understanding long term.