140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard returns to Jordan to participate in the Falcon Air Meet 2008
By Capt. Nicole David , 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard
/ Published December 18, 2008
MWAFFAQ SALTI AIR BASE, Jordan -- In October, members of the 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard, returned to Jordan as judges for the third annual Falcon Air Meet hosted by the Royal Jordanian Air Force.
Colorado and Jordan are linked together through the National Guard Bureau's State Partnership Program, a program designed to link states with various countries for the purpose of fostering mutual interests and establishing long-term relationships across all levels of society. Because of this partnership, the RJAF requested the Colorado Air Guard return this year to help implement the FAM competition rules and serve as judges for this year's meet.
"Both the Falcon Air Meet and Colorado's state partnership with Jordan offer great benefits to our Colorado Guardsmen by providing opportunities for real-world training and coordination," said Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards, the Adjutant General of Colorado. "I've seen our folks enjoy the exchange of ideas between various military units, and most lasting perhaps, some of our people have developed life-long friendships with their Jordanian counterparts, which teaches them about the Jordanian way of life and the Middle Eastern culture as a whole."
The goal of the Falcon Air Meet is for participating countries to train and work together through friendly competition events centered around the F-16 jet. This year, F-16 units from the 419th Fighter Squadron from Hill Air Force Base, Utah; the 151st from the Turkish Air Force; and the No. 2 Squadron from the Royal Jordanian Air Force competed in the areas of maintenance and flying operations. Not only did the participants interact with each other on a tactical level, but they also had the opportunity to learn about each other's cultures and converse on a personal level.
The competition events consisted of a four-ship formation arrival, air-to-ground bombing, a scramble launch, air-to-air intercept, weapons loading and overall sortie generation. In addition to the scored events, the countries participated together in Basic Fighter Maneuvers, Air Combat Training and Large Force Employment continuation training.
Also among the competing countries were observers from Bahrain, Belgium, Egypt, Indonesia, Italy, Oman and United Arab Emirates. Each of these countries came to observe the competition in hopes of participating in the next Falcon Air Meet.
"This is a great opportunity to get the top engineers, crew chiefs and pilots together to exchange ideas and experiences to be able to have a dialog. That is why it is nicest in a competition atmosphere because the best always want to learn; they're always ready to learn and expand their knowledge. And this is basically, at the end of the day, what we are trying to achieve - an opportunity for people to learn from each other and hopefully develop life-long friendships," said His Royal Highness Lt. Gen. Prince Feisal bin Al-Hussein, Chief of Air Staff of the Royal Jordanian Air Force.
The Falcon Air Meet was a vision of His Royal Highness Prince Feisal. His vision is an ongoing reality and the Royal Jordanian Air Force plans to host the next Falcon Air Meet in 2009.