USS IWO JIMA, At Sea -- Approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit are set to participate in the largest multi-nation exercise in the Middle East region this year.
Over the past few days the Marines dis-embarked the amphibious assault ships of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group to bring ashore personnel, equipment and supplies as they prepare to conduct a variety of training events with Jordanian forces and other participating nations at different locations throughout Jordan.
The focus of their efforts is to conduct partnered training with other countries, to share knowledge, and to demonstrate the interoperability and flexibility a Marine Expeditionary Unit brings as a forward-deployed crisis response force capable of responding to a variety of contingencies.
“When a crisis happens in the world our team has to be ready to work with other countries and their militaries immediately,” said Col. Frank Donovan, commanding officer, 24th MEU. “By conducting exercises like Eager Lion 12 we build strong relationships with partnered countries, we learn from each other and overcome hurdles in a training environment so that we can operate more effectively during a real mission.”
This is the second major exercise for the 24th MEU and Iwo Jima ARG since deploying in March. In April, they participated in African Lion 12, the largest bi-lateral annual training exercise in Africa.
“These types of exercises are a great opportunity for the Marine-Navy team to practice what we preach as a forward-deployed, crisis response force ready for anything,” said Donovan. “Conducting cooperation exercises like this are a key mission for us on our deployment. We appreciate the hospitality from the country of Jordan, we look forward to the opportunities presented during Eager Lion 12 and we’re excited to work with our partners.”