Colorado Air Guard Deploys F-16s for Exercise in Jordan

An Associated Press report on Wednesday made much of the deployment of Army Patriot missile batteries to Jordan and the dispatch of US F-16s there, as tensions between Jordan and war-torn Syria reportedly escalate. However, Air Force and Defense Department officials told the Daily Report on June 5 that the deployment of the F-16s is part of the long-planned annual Exercise Eager Lion, a US Central Command-sponsored event held with the Jordanian armed forces and other allies in the region. Denver’s ABC New 7 channel reported that six F-16s and more than 60 personnel from the Colorado Air National Guard’s 140th Wing departed Buckley Air Force Base on Tuesday for the exercise. According to an Air Forces Central Command statement, Eager Lion, which runs through June 20, is a valuable training opportunity for US airmen that promotes closer military-to military ties, helps establish clear lines of communication with allies, and identifies “regional and global challenges that require collective responses.”