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Colorado National Guard partners with Jordan on public affairs support

By Staff Sgt. Lalita Laksbergs | 104th Public Affairs Detachment | February 26, 2017

AMMAN, JORDAN – Public affairs specialists from the Colorado National Guard and Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Directorate of Moral Guidance partnered during a National Guard State Partnership Program Public Affairs exchange Feb. 5-9 in Jordan.

During the exchange, members of both staffs participated in a scheduled Jordan Armed Forces Chemical Support Unit exercise by jointly providing photojournalism coverage of the event.

The exercise included a simulated threat involving a potential chemical release and marked the first public affairs exchange activity involving a military exercise in Jordan.

The Jordan Armed Forces and Colorado National Guard Public Affairs exchanges began in 2012.

"This is the first PA exchange where we've worked alongside the JAF from the strategic to the tactical level," CONG State Public Affairs Officer Lt. Col. Elena O'Bryan said. "Covering the JAF story together has meant learning from each other on how best to tell the story. We've initiated a new phase in our PA partnership."

During the engagement, the teams shared their mutual objectives of promoting national security interests while supporting the coalition to end violent extremism and terrorist groups.

"There has been a revolution in technology that enabled this growth of terrorist organizations that poses a challenge to militaries," the JAF DMG Director said. "We have a solution when we stand together against terrorism, and we thank our American‎ friends for supporting the JAF in this public affairs field through sharing tactics, techniques, and procedures."

"The best way to undermine extremist ideologies on the web is to communicate openly with our communities and build communication partnerships," O'Bryan said.

With the growth of social media across the globe, countering violent messaging is an ongoing consideration for coalition partners. Throughout the visit, the partners discussed how to improve current messaging capabilities.

"We share the goal of an end to violent extremism that threatens the security of Jordan, the region, and the entire globe," CONG Bilateral Affairs Officer Lt. Col. Nicole David said. "As former President Obama stated, Jordan is an 'invaluable ally' in this fight."