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NEWS | Dec. 31, 2019

Jordan, US train on TOW weapon system

By Sgt. 1st Class Shaiyla Hakeem Area Support Group - Jordan

AMMAN, Jordan – National Guard Soldiers and the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army (JAF) trained on the heavy-duty TOW weapon system at a base outside Amman in December.

U.S. Army Soldiers with Charlie Company,1st Combined Arms Battalion, 252 Armor Regiment (1-252 AR), 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT), known as, "Old Hickory," North Carolina Army National Guard (NCANG), in collaboration with Military Engagement Team-Jordan (MET-J), 158th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB), Arizona Army National Guard (AZANG), conducted a two-week Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) on the BGM-71 Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wireless-guided (TOW) weapon system with the JAF.

The TOW weapon system, initially developed by the Hughes Aircraft Company in the 1960s, is a heavy anti-tank guided missile now under the Raytheon brand. The weapon system is known for its effective destruction of tanks and can be fired from varying platforms, including high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles, reconnaissance vehicles, infantry fighting vehicles and helicopters.

"They [ the TOW] can do astronomical damage, even to the biggest tank that they would face on the battlefields," said Staff Sgt. Joseph Edmonson, with Charlie Company, 1-252 AR, 30th ABCT, NCANG.

JAF soldiers familiarized themselves with the TOW system in four-person teams, with each member completing a different task to operate the weapon.

"Their [JAF] key NCOs [noncommissioned officers] are very knowledgeable on this system; they know their ranges, how to guestimate ranges," said Edmonson, "If these guys move[ JAF Soldiers], or their senior NCOs move and go somewhere else, all these guys have the same amount of training to bring them up."

The 30th ABCT's roots trace back to World War I, when it was known as 30th Infantry Division.

MET-J facilitates and conducts military-to-military engagements with regional partners in U.S. Army Central to build military partner capability and capacity, enhance interoperability and build relationships. They are a part of the Jordan Operational Engagement Program, which cements the Jordan-U.S. partnership through persistent training with Border Guard Forces, Quick Reaction Forces and the 77th Marine Battalion.