The necessity for this bond [between the U.S. and Jordan] forged over 60 years ago has never been more evident and vital than in today’s unconventional fight against Daesh.

This year’s Exercise Eager Lion 2016 saw its originators focusing internally on one another. Although, in its sixth iteration, this is only the second time this exercise was conducted exclusively between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the United States, with the 2011 inaugural exercise being the first. Currently, the largest exercise conducted in U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility, last year’s roster saw its participation grow to over 18 countries and 10,000 personnel.

“Core infiltration methods of special operations is the ability to train with our Jordanian partners on infiltration techniques, to exchange tactics, techniques, and procedures and to present and pin Airborne wings on one-another further cements the relationships we’ve built over the past six years while conducting Exercise Eager Lion,” said Col. Derek Lipson, CJSOTF deputy commander. This year’s exercise provides excellent opportunities to incorporate specific training needs to increase the real-world proficiency and effectiveness of both U.S. and Jordanian SOF personnel.

The first SOF Truth focuses on the critical relevance of people and relationships, no one knows this better than the global SOF community and therefore took full advantage of this year’s opportunity to solidify their alliances with one another. This began before the exercise officially kicked off, as they built their camps to accommodate personnel from both nations. Lipson says “the opportunity to live and eat with partners makes the training more effective and builds relationships that last a lifetime.”