For the past two weeks, Airmen from around the world converged in Jordan to provide airpower to sister services and partner nations throughout Exercise Eager Lion 2014.
Between May 25 and June 8, the scenarios that played out over the skies of Jordan included various air-to-air and air-to-ground missions that were possible because of the efforts of all the Airmen involved.
“Eager Lion is a fantastic exercise when you look at the size and scope,” said Brig. Gen. Kevin Schneider, Eager Lion air component coordination element and 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander. “It involves 20 nations right now, and thousands and thousands of Soldier, Sailors, Airmen and Marines from those nations. As I look to the future, it’s for continued expansion and continued development.”
This is the fourth iteration of the exercise, and featured continued interaction and sharing of experiences at all levels, from the maintainers who put the jets in the air to pilots who helped plan the exercise’s scenarios.
“As with any exercise, it’s about getting pilots together, letting them plan together and letting them fly together,” said Maj. Ali Shabana, an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot with the Royal Jordanian air force. “We all have the same name for missions, but we execute them in different ways. The benefit that we get from exercising with the U.S. and other countries is that guys who have a lot of experience with real-world situations are able to share that experience.”
For all partner nations involved, sharing those experiences leads to a new, mutual experience that will benefit them in the future.
“When I look at building relationships, Eager Lion is a tremendous foundation for continuing to do more together and continuing to learn from each other,” said Schneider. “My favorite part of the exercise was seeing the multinational partners, pilots and crews focused on doing the mission. We all grow up learning different languages, but we all eventually learn to speak the language of aviation.”