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NEWS | July 13, 2012

Colorado National Guard, Jordanian Armed Forces conduct eighth women's leadership engagement

By Air Force Maj. Nicole David Colorado National Guard

FORT CARSON, Colo. - As part of the ongoing partnership through the National Guard Bureau's State Partnership Program, the Colorado National Guard and the Jordan Armed Forces teamed up recently for a women's leadership engagement event here that focused on leadership development and communication styles, deployment preparations, sexual assault prevention, balancing work and home life and overall challenges faced by women in the military.

The partnership between the Colorado Guard and the JAF began in 2004 and eight women's engagement events have been held since 2009. This particular event attracted the attention of Her Royal Highness (Maj. Gen.) Princess Aisha bint Al Hussein, the defense, military, naval and air attaché from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan embassy in Washington, D.C.

Colorado National Guard members interacted with Aisha and a delegation of eight female JAF soldiers, including Brig. Gen. Nawal N'Soor, current director of the JAF ‘s Directorate of Military Women's Affairs.

The women participated together in leadership and trust activities at the U.S. Air Force Academy High Ropes course and trained on the Colorado Army National Guard's Humvee Egress Assistance Trainer and Virtual Combat Operations Trainer.

For many, the highlight of the week was a roundtable discussion on women's issues that included female congressional leaders from the Colorado state legislature as well as female leadership of the Colorado Guard.

"It provided an excellent forum for all of us to share and discuss the challenges and opportunities facing women in the world today. Whether in the military, political or civilian sectors, or different countries, we found that the issues were the same," said Army Brig. Gen. Dana Capozzella, the Colorado Guard's assistant adjutant general for Army. "The forum was a highlight of this visit."

The JAF was one of the first Middle Eastern military institutions in which women served. In 1995, Aisha established the DMWA to support and embody the role of military women. Through that office, women serving in the JAF have participated in a variety of foreign military schools and have trained in the U.S., the U.K. and other nations.

Currently in the JAF, women serve in a variety of specialties including royal guards, military police, military intelligence and logistics. Additionally, women have also served in the Special Operations Female Company for Special Security Tasks, and have deployed to Afghanistan as part of Female Engagement Teams.

Established in 2004, the partnership between the Colorado Guard and the JAF has led to an enduring relationship and long-term partnership capacity.

As part of that, the Colorado Guard conducts approximately 25 engagements with the JAF per year across a variety of military disciplines, and much of that success is seen the enduring relationships and the trust that has been forged.

"Our (Colorado Guard-Jordan) success comes from trust first," said Aisha. "The hearts and minds follow once there is trust."



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