Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Orthodox Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria Theodoros II serves Vespers in Cairo,Egypt

Exercise Eager Lion 2016 USAF B-52H flyover show of force

Exercise Eager Lion 2016 - Jordanian Armed Forces Air Assault Operation – Black Hawk Helicopters

Exercise Eager Lion - Zarqa, Jordan (May 16, 2016) - US,Jordan

Exercise Eager Lion 2016: Air Assault Course - US,Jordan

US,Jordan Prepare for Regional Crisis with Desert Drills

As part of the annual US Central Command-Jordanian Exercise Eager Lion,US and Jordanian Marines,as well as Italian soldiers,trained in the Jordanian desert last week.Jordan has been the most active Middle Eastern member of the anti-ISIL Operation Inherent Resolve.Last year,its pilots flew more missions against ISIL in Iraq and Syria than all the other Middle Eastern members combined,so it is evident why these bilateral military drills are so critical to both countries.They believe they must be able to respond effectively to a regional security crisis together.*
Every other year,Eager Lion is open to substantial multilateral participation.In 2015,19 countries participated;and even more are anticipated next year.*
On 18 May,the troops,who are Joint Tactical Air Controllers and Joint Forward Observers,assembled on a desert hilltop under the scenario of gathering data to provide to aircraft and artillery,so that 30,000 pounds of explosives could be dropped on an enemy column of armoured vehicles preparatory to an infantry assault.*
The US Marine JTACs from Kilo Company,Battalion Landing Team,3rd Battalion 6th Marine Regiment,24th Marine Expeditionary Unit,trained with their allies for two weeks to gain familiarity with each others' tactics and procedures.These Fire Support Teams,or FiSTs,mitigate the enemy advantages by directing fire from artillery,naval guns and aircraft.They shape the battlefield,destroying and neutralising targets so the ground unit can move,said 1st Lieutenant Bryan C. McDonald,Fire Support Officer with Kilo Company.He praised his Jordanian and Italian allies as being efficient.*
In this case,the fire support came from 2 US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombers and AH-64 Apache helicopters,along with 2 sections of Royal Jordanian F-16s and AH-1 Cobras,besides mortars.The mortars were used first.
The FiST marks targets with ground-based lasers,infrared lasers or smoke rounds so aircraft can identify them easily.*
Exercise Eager Lion 2016 ran from 15-24 May.The scenarios simulated a coordinated,partnered military response to conventional and unconventional threats,including chemical,biological and nuclear.Six thousand troops-three thousand each from the US and Jordan-participated this year.Eager Lion is the largest exercise US Central Command participates in.
General Joseph L. Votel,US Army,is US CENTCOM Commander.Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve,under the command of Lieutenant General Sean McFarland,US Army,is a subordinate command under US CENTCOM.*
The 24th MEU is currently embarked on ships of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group,which has been deployed to maintain regional security in the US 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility.