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U.S. Joins Jordan, Partner Nations to Launch Exercise Eager Lion 24

Forces from U.S. Central Command joined with host country Jordan and more than 30 additional partner nations Sunday to kick off Exercise Eager Lion 2024, the Pentagon announced today.

Dozens of service members in camouflage uniforms stand in a line in front of a trio of military vehicles. Some of the service members are holding up a black, white and green-striped flag; others hold a red and white-striped flag with 50 white stars over a blue background in the corner.
Eager Lion
Members of the U.S. Navy and Royal Jordanian Navy stand in formation during the opening ceremony for Eager Lion 24 at Aqaba, Jordan, May 12, 2024.
Photo By: U.S. Army Pfc. Abraham Gomez
VIRIN: 240512-A-RM303-1024

This 11th iteration of Eager Lion serves to underscore the United States' "commitment to interoperability with our partners in the region, while refining our ability to defend against … threats by state and non-state actors," Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters. 

Considered the most important exercise between the U.S. military and the Jordanian Armed Forces, Eager Lion 24 will focus on training the participating partner nations to develop cooperation and interoperability between military and interagency organizations, according to a Centcom press release on the exercise. 

In addition to addressing challenges from across the region's air, land, sea and cyber domains, the exercise will also support humanitarian aid assistance and multinational disaster response operations, the release states.

"Eager Lion demonstrates the value of working together to maintain a ready and responsive force that truly demonstrates we are prepared to respond together in times of crisis," exercise director U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jason Benson said.

A man in a camouflage military uniform stands at a lectern with a microphone.
Jason Benson
Brig. Gen. Jason Benson, the U.S. Central Command’s Eager Lion 2024 director for, gives an opening speech for Eager Lion 2024 at King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center, May 12, 2024.
Photo By: Spc. Tyler Becker
VIRIN: 240512-Z-OO172-1038

Benson added that Eager Lion does more than merely demonstrate the commitment to interoperability between multiple partner nations. 

"It also demonstrates that our coalition force can maintain a sufficient and sustainable presence in the region. It delivers a clear message that relationships matter," he said. 

"As we work to deter and address aggressive actions by maligned actors around the world, these kinds of exercises and partnerships enable us to meet new and continuing threats together," Singh said.

She added that the U.S. military participates in more than 80 exercises with partner nations throughout Centcom's area of responsibility each year to bolster military-to-military relationships that promote regional security. 

Eager Lion 24 is scheduled to run until May 23.

A woman stands at a lectern with a microphone. There is a television screen with an aerial view of the ocean behind her.
Press Briefing
Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh conducts a media briefing at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., May 16, 2024.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Alexander Kubitza  
VIRIN: 240516-D-PM193-2037

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