The 2022 Eager Lion drill kicked off on Sunday in Jordan with the coordination of United States and the participation of 27 Arab and other countries, and 4,800 soldiers, said the Jordanian Military Information Directorate.
The drill came after a year-long pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is carried out by the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army (JAF).
JAF Spokesperson Col. Mustafa Hiari said on Sunday that the drill will continue until September 15, and its exercises will seek to enhance the level of cooperation and preparedness among participating troops in the field of counterterrorism, border security, drones and new threats pertaining to various types of weapons of mass destruction.
During a press conference to announce the launch of the event, Hiari said that the drill started with the participation of 4,800 military personnel and 1,000 civilians, noting that the training aims to raise preparedness and gain field expertise for forces of the participating countries.
Hiari then responded to press inquiries regarding any links between the drills and attempts to form new military alliances to confront terrorism.
The colonel stressed that the drills are not linked to any crisis, saying Jordan is a “stable oasis in a turbulent neighborhood.”
The Jordanian borders are “under control and stable”, he said.
Spokesperson for the US Armed Forces Col. Joshua Smith expressed Washington’s honor to continue participating in the long-term partnership in the Jordan-hosted Eager Lion drill.
He said the drill is among several US-centered exercises, which use traditional and nontraditional technologies to activate joint action to confront simulated threats, noting that the drill was designed to exchange military expertise among participating countries and to enhance Jordan’s role in maintaining regional security and stability.
Smith said there are approximately 1,700 US soldiers, 2,200 members of the Jordanian military and 400 members from other countries, participating in these exercises.
Also participating in the drills are Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Kazakhstan, Austria, Sweden, Cyprus, Kenya, Greece, Poland, Belgium, Pakistan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Morocco, in addition to Jordan.
The Eager Lion exercise started in Jordan in 2011 and includes ground, naval and air military trainings.