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NEWS | March 27, 2014

U.S., Jordanian military leaders deepen National Guard partnership

By Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Jim Greenhill National Guard Bureau

AMMAN, Jordan - Senior United States and Jordanian military leaders sought to deepen the already robust National Guard State Partnership Program pairing of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan with Colorado during senior level meetings and a dinner hosted by the Jordanian Armed Forces here Wednesday and Thursday.

Army Gen. Frank Grass, the chief of the National Guard Bureau; Air Force Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards, the adjutant general of the Colorado National Guard, and Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Mitchell Brush, the senior enlisted advisor to the chief of the National Guard Bureau, met with Jordanian counterparts during a two-day visit here that reinforced the thriving partnership between Colorado and Jordan.

The visit included a dinner hosted by Gen. Mashal Al-Zaben, chairman of the Jordanian Joint Chiefs of Staff, and meetings with His Royal Highness, Lt. Gen. Prince Faisal Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, and Maj. Gen. Mansour AlJobour, commander of the Royal Jordanian Air Force.

"I was humbled by the gracious welcome from General Al-Zaben, which reflects traditional Jordanian hospitality and also the close personal relationship that exists between members of the Colorado National Guard and the Jordanian Armed Forces," Gen. Grass said.

"I underscored to General Al-Zaben my strong personal commitment to work closely with Major General Edwards, in coordination with United States Central Command, to deepen our already superb National Guard State Partnership Program partnership with Jordan even further and thanked him for Jordan's important contribution to regional security and stability," Grass said.

"The National Guard does three things very well," Grass said. "We fight our nation's wars, we protect the homeland and we sustain robust global partnerships like that between the Colorado National Guard and Jordan."

The military leaders discussed the current security situation in the region and military cooperation. Among other goals, the Jordanian Armed Forces seeks to accelerate development of its noncommissioned officer corps. Steps Jordan has taken include appointing the nation's first-ever Sergeant Major of the Jordanian Armed Forces.

"They're on a fast track to properly develop their NCO corps," Chief Brush said. "One of General Al-Zaben's top priorities is to accelerate this development of the Jordanian military's NCO corps. Because of our enduring, close relationship, the Jordanians have the ability to use some of our lessons learned as they grow and develop their NCO corps."

The Colorado National Guard is examining the potential for sharing tactics, techniques and procedures for maneuvering over rugged land terrain with the Jordanian Armed Forces, Edwards said. Colorado National Guard members routinely deal with challenging terrain, including the Rocky Mountains, in both aerial and land operations.

Gen. Grass also met with U.S. Ambassador Stuart Jones and heard Jones' enthusiasm for the Colorado National Guard's robust partnership with Jordan. Jones encouraged expansion into military-civilian and civilian-civilian engagement activities.

The National Guard State Partnership Program, or SPP, is in its 21st year successfully building long-lasting relationships that today include 67 unique security partnerships involving one-third of the world's nations.

The SPP links a unique component of the Department of Defense, a state's National Guard, with the armed forces or equivalent of a partner country in a cooperative, enduring, and mutually beneficial relationship.