Story by MAJ David Zuzak on 09/26/2019JOINT TRAINING CENTER, Jordan Person-to-person relationships are a critical pillar of the rock solid U.S.-Jordanian military partnership, built over seven decades. Col. Kirk White, Sgt. Maj. Michael Vogt and other staff from Task Force Spartan-Jordan, 38th Infantry Division, Indiana National Guard, recently strengthened that pillar during an engagement with officers from the Jordan Armed Forces' (JAF) Joint Operations Planning Center/J5 (JOPC); they toured the Joint Training Center (JTC) together, enjoyed a meal together, and, most importantly, discussed how the JAF and the U.S. military can continue to learn from each other as they work to ensure Jordan's security and stability.
"Having that personal network that relationship to make things happen is very helpful," said Sgt. Maj. Vogt, who had returned to Jordan after first coming here 33 years ago. He has seen repeatedly how Jordan is open and flexible when working with the U.S. military and he said he was glad to have a chance to work alongside the JAF once again.
Col. White said such soldier-to-soldier engagements "help build partner capacity, optimize coalition and interagency efforts, and advance common national interests." More specifically, they allow participants to share and exchange information that enhances the capabilities of both organizations.
Task Force Spartan-Jordan's mission is to conduct theater security cooperation throughout the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. A key goal is increasing border security in order to maintain regional stability, as well as expanding partnerships with the JAF. Task Force Spartan accomplishes its mission, in part, by cooperative training engagements such as the one recently conducted at JTC.
In Jordan, border security is critical to the Kingdom's overall security. The JAF heavily enforces its borders to protect Jordanians from illegal smuggling that supports violent extremist organizations such as ISIS. Stronger ties between Task Force Spartan and the JAF allow both sides to coordinate bilateral and multilateral intelligence operations, while increasing organic intelligence support and buttressing the JAF's security measures along the borders.
For Sgt. Maj. Vogt, meeting with JAF counterparts gives him a chance to see how "their intelligence methodologies are used as they plug and play into what is mutually beneficial for working together with the U.S. military."