Southwest, Asia --
The Jordan Armed Forces (JAF) invited noncommissioned officers from 14 partner nations to its Fourth Annual Sergeants Major Symposium April 7-10 at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center.
Among those invited was Chief Master Sgt. Jason Tiek, the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing’s very own command chief.
The event provided an opportunity for enlisted leaders from around the world to generate best practices for the training and development of noncommissioned officers (NCOs), often referred to as the “backbone” of military forces.
“What makes events like this special is the demonstration of how dedicated and committed all of our partners are to enhancing each other’s knowledge base during these interactions,” Tiek said.
Jordan’s value as a key U.S. partner in the stability and security of the region was highlighted by the 41st U.S. - Jordan Joint Military Commission, held the same week in Amman and chaired by top defense leaders from both countries. Sergeant Major Luis Luna, senior enlisted adviser for the Military Assistance Program at the U.S. Embassy in Amman recognized the link between the NCO symposium and the strategic partnership between the two nations. He said an improved JAF enlisted force should lead to greater interoperability between the two militaries.
“Jordan is a key partner in the region and our ability to ensure regional security depends on how well our militaries work together,” said Luna. “Any focus on empowering their NCOs will only lead to better integration between our forces.”
JAF’s focus on bolstering its NCO corps has the potential to impact not only its bilateral relationship with the U.S., but its multinational relationships with partners around the globe.
“NCOs are the connective tissue that ensures the mission is executed,” Tiek said. “When you have young Airmen and Soldiers as well as senior level leadership and officers, you introduce a large communication gap. NCOs fill that crucial gap. They are our information conduit.”
Based on the responses and feedback from symposium attendees, what could have been seen as an internal training matter for JAF will potentially have a much broader impact on the security efforts of partner forces across the region.
“Readiness plus empowered NCOs equals winning,” said Chief Master Sgt. Shawn Drinkard, U.S. Air Forces Central Command chief. “When you add readiness plus empowered NCOs, we’re going to win every single time. We’re going to win because we’re a coalition and because we’re partners.”