NEWS | Sept. 11, 2014

Partnership ties between Jordan and Colorado stronger after decade

By Staff Sgt. Jecca Geffre Colorado National Guard

As Air Force Maj. Gen. H. Mike Edwards, adjutant general of Colorado National Guard, and His Royal Highness Prince Feisal bin Al-Hussein, the Prince of Jordan, reiterated in their declarations commemorating the 10th anniversary of the enterprise in September, what started out as a partnership has flourished into a family.

Feisal said he was glad that Colorado was chosen as the partner for Jordan 10 years ago due to already having a close relationship with the Guard, and since its inception the relationship has gone from strength to strength.

“It is no longer a partnership. It goes beyond that. It’s more than a friendship and camaraderie. We really feel that we have grown it into a family or brotherhood,” he said.

Feisal credits the strength of that relationship due to “common values, common principles, ideals that really add the strength to the partnership as it exists today and hopefully from that we will continue to grow into the future.” 

“For Colorado to be a partner with Jordan, and to have that opportunity to share ideas and best practices, and just work together to develop a better way of doing things for both of our state and for Jordan – as far as military forces it has been amazing,” Edwards said.

He points out that the official partnership began while the U.S. was engaged in a war on Jordan’s neighbor Iraq. “This started in a war-time situation. As his Royal Highness stated it has progressed into an enduring friendship family relationship.”

Feisal, Her Highness Princess Zeina Al-Feisal, and Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Jobour, the commander of the Royal Jordanian Air Force, visited Colorado and attended an office call with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and legislators at the state capitol; toured the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs; attended a 9/11 memorial hosted by retired Army Gen. David Patreus and toured Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora.

During a joint Colorado National Guard-Jordan news conference, Feisal announced that Jordan supports the U.S. and the fight against violent extremists.

“We face a common threat within the region and we have been partners before in times of crisis and dealing with very difficult situations, and I think you’ll have an ally, a very strong capable ally, in dealing with a common threat,” Feisal said. “It is in time of difficulties that you find out who your friends are and in times of difficulties Jordan and the U.S. have stood side by side in dealing with a common threat.”

Air Force Maj. Gen. Donald McGregor, deputy director for Domestic Operations at U.S. Northern Command, spoke about the program and the success of Colorado and Jordan’s partnership during a 9/11 memorial ceremony. When addressing the criteria of the SPP and developing trust, McGregor said, “I cannot think of a better relationship where I see this trust than between Jordan and Colorado better displayed than through the Prince, through the King, and through Gen. Edwards and his great group here on both sides of the Atlantic.” 

Jordan is facing many challenges due to approximately 1.4 million Syrian refugees amassed in border camps due to military strife in their homeland, as well as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant launching attacks in neighboring Iraq and seizing border crossings.

Feisal said that despite the burden of so many refugees, his country will continue to act honorably and humanely by providing as much support as possible, and encourages other countries in the region to help alleviate the challenge of so many displaced people.

“It is in time of difficulties your friends step up, and you have seen from Jordan in challenging times (that) Jordan is a partner you have been able to count on,” Feisal said. This was the basis for which we were able to continue our SPP. I think we are the only Arab country that is involved in a SPP and it is something we have encouraged other states in the region to do, because we have seen the benefits.  The real tangible benefits and the strength of that relationship has served both countries very well.”