Eager Lion 2015 was truly a land, air and sea exercise, with the maritime component working out of Jordan’s Red Sea port of Aqaba. The exercise culminated last week in a large-scale assault demo that included units from Belgium, France, Jordan, Pakistan and the United States taking down a large ferry in spectacular fashion.
Stealthy go-fast boats and rigid hull-inflatable boats that are often used in visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations were used for the boarding exercise, along with Black Hawk derivatives from the 160th SOAR, Jordanian Air Force and US Navy. Jordanian MD530 Little Birds that are usually closely associated with the country’s special forces were also used during the large-scale drill.
Jordanian special forces also demonstrated their clandestine shore landing capabilities, emerging from the water with their top-of-the-line Heckler & Koch MP7s drawn (let’s get some sights on those babies guys?!). In all, over 8,000 troops from various nations were involved in the exercise which has become a centerpiece endeavor for Jordan’s military.
Seeing as Jordan, along with some of Eager Lion’s foreign participants, are actively fighting a very real war against ISIS nearby, this evolution of the annual exercise never had as high of prominence or as great of stakes. What are war games one day could very well be the real thing the next. As such, the training and complexity of this year’s Eager Lion was said to have been unprecedented.
Photos via DoD and AP
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