Building Air Coalitions in Jordan

Amman, Jordan After taking a year off, Falcon Air Meet— the annual exercise hosted by the Royal Jordanian Air Force—resumed earlier this week at the country’s Muwaffaq Salti Air Base, about 60 miles east of Amman. A delegation of officials from the Royal Jordanian Air Force, including veteran pilot and former RJAF chief of staff Prince Feisal bin Al Hussein, officiated opening ceremonies on June 9 along with officials from the Colorado Air National Guard’s 120th Fighter Squadron—this year’s US participants in the event. Marine F/A-18s from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115 also are flying in the exercise. This is the seventh iteration of the event although it is the first year FAM has coincided with Exercise Eager Lion—the 19-nation multi lateral military exercise hosted by the RJAF. Since 2006, FAM has served as an opportunity for pilots from countries such as Turkey, Pakistan, and the US to learn from each other and talk about how they use their aircraft, Feisal said in comments following a meeting with senior US and Air Guard officials. “We learn from each other so we are better prepared as coalition partners,” he noted, adding the US and Jordan have served side by side in combat recently with other nations during Operation Unified Protector in Libya. “It is important we learn how to work together at this phase, instead of when the bullets are flying.” (See also The Lion’s Den)