TRAINING AREA 1, JORDAN (May 15, 2016) – U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Zach King, left, and Cpl. Derick Sammonek, assaultmen with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, brace themselves as an 60mm mortar exits the tube of an M224 mortar system as part of sustainment training during Exercise Eager Lion 2016. Exercise Eager Lion 2016 is a bilateral, scenario based exercise with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the U.S., designed to exchange military expertise and improve interoperability among partner nations. During the sixth iteration of the exercise, both joint and combined military responses to conventional and unconventional threats will be explored. Participating troops will also train across their respective mission sets including border security, inter-ministerial command and control, cyber defense and battlespace management. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Paris Capers/ RELEASED)
Green Berets from 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) have joined Jordan and other international partner forces for Eager Lion 2015. This is one of U.S. Central Command’s premiere exercises in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan during the month of May. For the exercise, more than 5,000 U.S. military personnel will train with other participants including Australia, Egypt, France, Iraq, Italy, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. Eager Lion 2015 will consist of a week-long series of simulated scenarios to facilitate a coordinated, partnered military response to conventional and unconventional threats.
Thanks to the inestimable @birbwin for being my Arabic language consultant :)
Erwin continues to be a compete sap….
Erwin lies on his back and stares at his phone.
lackerman83 sends a contact request
His heart is hammering and he wants to pinch himself to make sure he’s not dreaming. He can’t quite believe this is real but his phone assures him it’s 07.04 am and the light filtering in through the blinds strongly suggests that he is, indeed, awake.
lackerman83 sends a contact request
Levi has contacted him. He can feel his face splitting into the biggest, most ridiculous, shit eating grin, but he can’t help it and he doesn’t care. Levi has contacted him, and in that moment nothing else matters.
A thousand questions race through his head. What time is it where Levi is? Around three or four in the afternoon? Where is he and what’s he doing? He might be at the university or working in the café. Driving somewhere in the Landrover perhaps? Holding someone else hand between the seats? No. Don’t think that. Maybe he’s at home? Erwin is intensely curious to know where Levi lives. Does he live alone? With family? Does he have house mates? Erwin wonders if he has a picture of himself as his Skype icon and his heart leaps at the thought. Idiot. And the 83, what about the 83? What does that mean? Is 83 the year Levi was born? That would make him…Erwin wants to hug his phone…thirty-three, just five years younger that himself. Erwin says a swift and fervent prayer to a god he doesn’t believe in that his hunch is correct. And why has Levi finally contacted him? Why now? Has something changed? Is it possible he missed Erwin’s messages until last night?
Erwin knows there is only one way to find answers to the myriad questions, but his thumb hovers indecisively over the contact request on his lock screen. Quite apart from the fact that Skype is horrendously flakey on his antiquated phone, something stops him from accepting Levi’s request immediately. He wants to savor this moment, to keep it and hold it close. He has no idea what will come next but part of him wants to hold onto this moment of certainty as long as he can.
21/8/2015: Crown Prince Hussein said that Youth are the strategic asset and the real wealth. “This is what I see every day in the youth of my country, Jordan, and in my peers around the world.”
Addressing the Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security, which kicked off today King’s Academy, Madaba, he said Jordan will work through its membership in the United Nations Security Council for the Council’s adoption of an agenda on youth, peace and security to ensure the inclusion of youth in efforts towards building sustainable peace and security. “This is how we grew up here in Jordan, with the involvement of all men and women. We built a resilient nation with the hard work of young people and the foresight of their fathers,” the prince said.
Following is the full text of Prince Al Hussein’s speech:
In the name of God, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,
It has been said that “The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.” That rings true for this house, my home, Jordan.
So, let me welcome all of you, friends, to my beloved country Jordan. And know that your presence enriches us; because while Jordan’s foundations of peace and mutual respect are deep, they grow ever stronger with each new friendship.
We are proud that ours is a house that has never turned away a neighbor seeking refuge and relief; and a home for all who seek peace and progress because peace is not just a policy, not just a value or ideal, it is a human trait and it is the pillar that holds up the roof over our one global family.
Welcome to Jordan and a special thank you to our partners: the UN system and its visionary leadership, the United Network of Young Peacebuilders, and Search for Common Ground.
Brothers and sisters,
“Youth are the future” this perhaps one of the most frequently cited statements on how to affect the future through shaping its generations, and part of the discourse of heads of states, politicians and political parties.
Those who possess the key to young minds can unlock the doors of the future. This is the strategy followed by all those who seek to shape generations, because when youth believe in a mission, they will dedicate their lives to fulfill it.
Unfortunately, if we look back on our modern history, we will find that tyrants, occupiers, and terrorists in any shape or form including Al Qaeda and Daesh have all exploited young people and their potential.
Has not the time come to utilise this formula to make peace? To build strong generations that won’t be swayed by the slogans of those who seek to advance their own agendas, whatever they may be!
This formula has never been more appropriate, for the world has never been as young as it is today. Therefore, there has never been a greater opportunity to influence the future, especially in the Arab world, where youth under 25 years old make up around 70 per cent of the population.
Youth are the strategic asset. They are the real wealth. This is what I see every day in the youth of my country, Jordan, and in my peers around the world. Youth are the ones most ready to dedicate their lives for the future of their country. They are the peace builders who go to serve their brothers and sisters in disaster areas. They are the doctors who volunteered to aid their Arab brethren in times of catastrophes in Gaza.
They are the teachers helping in refugee camps so that children are not deprived of education and knowledge. They are the millions of youths who create networks that give unconditionally, not expecting anything in return. These are but examples of what I have seen and experienced. This is my generation; these are the peacemakers.
I assure you that the young people of my generation do not lack the will to take action. On the contrary, they are the most aware of the challenges facing their homelands. They are the most knowledgeable of the advancements of their times; and they are the most capable of listening to the world and communicating with it because they have mastered the language of this age, with the cyberspace carrying their voice from East to West across all borders and restrictions.
This is my generation, and its youth are well-equipped to be partners in setting a future strategy that suits them.
This is why we are here today, because we have the opportunity to make a fundamental change in the future an opportunity that we must seize quickly because youth are targeted by many, and we are in a race to win their minds.
We are in a race against agendas on the hunt for the youth’s capacities to serve their own goals. We are in a race with time because our future cannot afford to waste the capacities of today’s generation.
We are here to build on the outcomes of the Security Council’s open session on the “Role of Youth in Countering Violent Extremism and Promoting Peace”, which was organised by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan during its presidency of the Council in April.
We are also here to reach a consensus over a declaration on youth and their role in peace building and combating extremism.
This may be the first conference of its kind in terms of strong participation and the ability to bring together all stakeholders from representatives of the United Nations, governments as well as national and international organisations, to the party most concerned: Young people themselves and their organisations.
But I also hope that the Forum will be the first of its kind in the tangible outcomes that it yields, realised through a genuine involvement of youth, not sideline participation or modest representation.
It is the first of its kind because young people themselves will draft the recommendations, with the support of the experts we have here with us, for what we need as young people is a space to work, not readymade templates that limit us.
This conference will contribute to creating stronger networks that seek to empower youth and give them the chance to express their ambitions and their belonging to humanity.
Our dear guests,
Today, I announce to you that Jordan will work through its membership in the United Nations Security Council for the Council’s adoption of an agenda on youth, peace and security to ensure the inclusion of youth in efforts towards building sustainable peace and security. This is how we grew up here in Jordan, with the involvement of all men and women. We built a resilient nation with the hard work of young people and the foresight of their fathers.
I have recently read a saying that caught my attention: A boy becomes a man the first time his dream dies.
Something has pushed me not to settle for this statement as is, but ask all of you here today to take on the responsibility of making it right.
Economic, social and political challenges have turned our youth into men and women capable of shouldering their responsibilities, and it is our duty to offer them an environment that nurtures vibrant, achievable dreams that can change the course of their lives; for there is no dream without hope, and hope is a fundamental right for each and every young man and woman. We are here to reaffirm this right, and to push them to dream bigger and farther every time not only to be the largest young generation in history, but also the generation that made the world’s largest leap towards peace and coexistence.
“Today we stand with the family of the brave Muath and with our people and our armed forces as we deal with this tragedy, which is a tragedy for all Jordanian men and women.
At this difficult time, it is the duty of all citizens to unify their ranks and show the true character of the Jordanian people when they face hardships and plights, which will only strengthen us and reinforce our unity.” - His Majesty King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan