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Marines Train At Eager Lion 2019
by U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jason Monty
November 5, 2019

U.S. Marines with India Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, participated in military-to-military relationship building exercises during Exercise Eager Lion 2019 in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, August 25 to September 5.

Eager Lion, U.S. Central Command’s largest and most complex exercise, is an opportunity to integrate forces in a multilateral environment, operate in realistic terrain and strengthen military-to-military relationships.

August 31, 2019 - U.S. Marines with India Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), exit from an amphibious assault vehicle while conducting a dry-fire exercise during Exercise Eager Lion 2019 in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jason Monty)
August 31, 2019 - U.S. Marines with India Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), exit from an amphibious assault vehicle while conducting a dry-fire exercise during Exercise Eager Lion 2019 in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jason Monty)

India Company is a mechanized force, transported by amphibious assault vehicles made to launch from the well deck of U.S. Navy ships and land on a beach.

According to 1st Sgt. Elijah Lawton, the company’s senior enlisted leader, Eager Lion was a chance for the force to improve their proficiency working with other nations’ forces and to tighten the bonds between allied forces, ensuring their ability to fight any future battles together.

Eager Lion is an exercise that is conducted every year in order to help the United States military and other partner militaries build and sustain their relationships.

“During Eager Lion, India Company conducted cross training with the amphibious ready group, light armored reconnaissance, a tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel platoon, the combined anti-armor team, and some international agencies to include a platoon of Jordanians, a squad of Saudi Arabians and two elements from the Italian forces,” said 1st Lt. Sean McDonough, a platoon commander with India Company.

India Company conducted multilateral training exercises with the Italian Armed Forces, Royal Jordanian Marines and the Royal Saudi Naval Forces over the two-week exercise.

“For India Company, internally, Eager Lion was a great opportunity for us to get some live-fire training in,” said McDonough. “Live-fire training was limited to us while we were aboard the ship. We were able to get our guys out there and actually put some rounds down range and get some good training in. On a bigger scale, it allowed us to work with international organizations and other militaries to trade some tactics, techniques and procedures with them – get us familiar with how other units operate and be able to pass on some more training to them.”

August 31, 2019 - U.S. Marines with India Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), fire their rifles during a dry-fire exercise during Exercise Eager Lion 2019 in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jason Monty)
August 31, 2019 - U.S. Marines with India Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), fire their rifles during a dry-fire exercise during Exercise Eager Lion 2019 in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jason Monty)

All forces of the 11th MEU launched from U.S. Navy amphibious ships, making the exercise the largest amphibious operation in the Central Command area of responsibility.

“The exercise was bigger than ourselves,” said Lawton. “Eager Lion showed myself and the Marines who participated in the battalion landing team that we are stronger together. With the bilateral exercise that Eager Lion was – it showed exposure. It allowed Marines to train side-by-side, build bridges and definitely enhance lethality and how we will pursue whatever the objective is in the future.”

Eager Lion, U.S. Central Command's largest and most complex exercise, is an opportunity to integrate forces in a multilateral environment, operate in realistic terrain and strengthen military-to-military relationships.

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