Jordanian Armed Forces

The Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF) (Arabic: الْقُوَّاتُ الْمُسَلَّحَةُ الأرْدُنِية, romanized: Al-Quwwat Al-Musallaha Al-Urduniyya), also referred to as the Arab Army (Arabic: الْجَيْشُ الْعَرَبيُّ, Al-Jaysh Al-Arabi), are the military forces of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. They consist of the ground forces, air force, and navy. They are under the direct control of the King of Jordan who is the Supreme Commander of the Jordanian Armed Forces. The current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is Major General Yousef Huneiti, who is also the King's military adviser.[2]

Jordanian Armed Forces
الْقُوَّاتُ الْمُسَلَّحَةُ الأرْدُنِية
Emblem of the Jordanian Armed Forces
Emblem of the Jordanian Armed Forces
Founded22 October 1920
Current form1 March 1956
Service branches Royal Jordanian Army
 Royal Jordanian Navy
 Royal Jordanian Air Force
Commander-in-chiefField Marshal King Abdullah II
Minister of DefenceBisher Al-Khasawneh
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of StaffMajor General Yousef Huneiti
Military age18–49 years old
Active personnel100,500[1]
Reserve personnel65,000[1]
Budget$2.6 billion
Percent of GDP6.5%
Domestic suppliersJordan Design and Development Bureau
Foreign suppliers Australia
 Czech Republic
 South Korea
 South Africa
 United Kingdom
 United States
Related articles
HistoryWorld War II (1940–45)
Arab–Israeli War
Retribution operations (1950s)
Six-Day War
War of Attrition (1967–70)
Battle of Karameh (1968)
Black September
Yom Kippur War
Yemeni Civil War (1994)
1999 East Timorese crisis
First Libyan Civil War
International military intervention against ISIL (2014–present)
Saudi-led intervention in Yemen (2015)
RanksJordanian military ranks

The first organized army in Jordan was established on 22 October 1920, and was named the "Mobile Force". At the time it only had 150 men in its ranks. On its third anniversary in 1923, the force was renamed the Arab Legion, consisting of 1,000 men. By the time Jordan became an independent state in 1946, the Arab Legion numbered some 8,000 soldiers in 3 mechanized regiments. In 1956, King Hussein dismissed all British generals and changed the name of the Legion into the "Jordanian Arab Army" in what became known as the Arabization of the Jordanian Army command.

The army fought in several wars and battles, mostly against Israel. In the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the capture of the West Bank by Jordan and the decisive Battles of Latrun, proved that the Arab Legion was the most effective army during the war. Several confrontations followed with Israel, resulting in mixed success; they included the Retribution operations, the Six-Day War, the War of Attrition and Yom Kippur War. Jordan also had to face the PLO and the Syrian Army during the events of Black September. The signing of the Israel–Jordan peace treaty in 1994 ended the state of belligerency between the two countries.[3]

It is today considered to be among the most professional in the region, and is seen as particularly well-trained, organized, and equipped.[4]

History Edit

Arab Revolt Tribal Cavalry – Tribes of Jordan and Arabia, c. 1918
Arab army during the Arab revolt of 1916 against the Ottoman Empire formed the nucleus of the Arab Legion.
Commander of the Arab Legion, Glubb Pasha in uniform. Amman, September 11, 1940.

The first organized army in Jordan was established on 22 October 1920, and was named the "Mobile Force", at the time it was 150 man strong under the command of the British Captain Frederick Peake. On its third anniversary, in October 1923, the now-1,000-man force was renamed the Arab Legion.

In 1939, John Bagot Glubb, better known as Glubb Pasha, became the Legion's commander, and continued in office until the dismissal of British officers in March 1956. On 1 April 1926, the Transjordan Frontier Force was formed, consisting of only 150 men and most of them were stationed along Transjordan's roads.

The Arabization of the Jordanian Army command (Arabic: تعريب قيادة الجيش العربي‎, Ta'reeb Qiyadat Al-Jaysh Al-Arabi) saw the dismissal of senior British officers commanding the Arab Legion by King Hussein and the subsequent renaming of the Legion into the Jordanian Armed Forces on 1 March 1956. Glubb Pasha, the Arab Legion's British commander, was replaced with Major General Radi Annab, who became the first Arab commander of the Arab Legion. Hussein's intentions to Arabize the Army command were to replace British officers with Jordanian officers, assert political independence from Britain, and improve relations with neighboring Arab states that viewed the British with suspicion. An annual celebration is held on 1 March in Jordan to mark the historic event.

Timeline of the history and development of the Jordanian Army and the Arab Legion:

1920–1947 Pre-1948 War 1948 War Battles – 1956 Kuwait – 1963
Sammu Battle – 1966 Six-Day War – 1967 1967–1973 After 1977 2000–present

Structure and objectives Edit

The army's organisational structure was traditionally based on two armoured divisions and two mechanized divisions. These have been transformed into a lighter, more mobile forces, based largely on a brigade structure and considered better capable of rapid reaction in emergencies. An armoured division has become the core element of a strategic reserve.[5][6]

The main objectives of the Jordanian Armed Forces are:

  1. Protect the Kingdom of Jordan borders from any invasion.
  2. Protect the people inside the Kingdom and their rights.
  3. Protect the King of Jordan.
Royal Jordanian Army Order of Battle (OrBat) 2020

Special Operations Forces Edit

Royal Jordanian Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft fighter pilots fly over Jordan October 19, 2009
Special Operation Forces at Shaheed Mwaffaq Air Base showing a KADDB manufactured Desert Iris vehicle, November 2010

Founded on April 15, 1963, on the orders of the late King Hussein, its primary roles include reconnaissance, counter-terrorism, search and evacuation, intelligence gathering combat, and the protection of key sites. King Abdullah II Special Forces Group are also charged with carrying out precision strikes against critical enemy targets. The unit is equipped and trained to be able to operate behind enemy lines for long periods without any logistical support, and is considered one of the finest special forces units in the world.[7][8]

The group is supported by the newly founded Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed (MbZ) Quick Reaction Force (QRF) Brigade which is a brigade-strength forces with high combat readiness, immediate response speed, flexible and highly mobile that are able to operate independently, within Jordanian forces, or with friendly and allied forces to defend Jordanian national security within the borders of the Kingdom of Jordan or Outside in all circumstances at the time and place and in accordance with the orders of the General Command of the Armed Forces.[9][10][11]

Defense industry Edit

FV107 Scimitar updated by KADDB in display at SOFEX 2006
Jordanian troops in a military parade in Amman, June 2007

Jordan is a recent entrant to the domestic defense industry with the establishment of King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau (now Jordan Design and Development Bureau) in 1999. The defense industrial initiative is intended to jumpstart industrialization across a range of sectors. With the Jordanian defense expenditures at 8.7% of GDP, the Jordanian authorities created the defense industry to utilize defense budget spending power and to assist in economic growth without placing additional demands on the national budget. Jordan also hosts SOFEX, the world's fastest growing and region's only special operations and homeland security exhibition and conference.[12] Jordan is a regional and international provider of advanced military goods and services.[13]

A KADDB Industrial Park was opened in September 2009 in Mafraq. It is an integral industrial free zone specialized in defense industries and vehicles and machinery manufacturing. By 2015, the park is expected to provide around 15,000 job opportunities whereas the investment volume is expected to reach JD500 million.[14]

Peacekeeping Edit

The Jordanian Armed Forces has been a strong supporter and participant of UN peacekeeping missions.[15][16][17][18] Jordan ranks among the highest internationally in taking part in UN peacekeeping missions.[19] The size of the Jordanian participation in various areas of the United Nations peacekeeping troops and staff, hospital and international observers, is estimated to be 61,611 officers and men, starting in 1989 in Angola through the task of military observers and humanitarian security forces.[20] After France and the UK, Jordan was the largest contributor of troops to the UN forces in the former Yugoslavia, sending three battalions, or over three thousand troops, from 1993 to 1996.[21]

At the U.N. Copenhagen summit, Jordan was alone, out of more than 30 developing nations, in unveiling plans to help fight climate change, including upgrading its armed forces by 2020, an area usually overlooked in the global warming debate. The army will seek to upgrade engines and old vehicles and use energy saving technologies.[22][23]

International assistance Edit

A Jordanian military doctor examines a child in Afghanistan, October 2009.
Hercules C-130H of the Royal Jordanian Air Force taxis for takeoff, July 2006.
A Jordanian M113 armored ambulance is offloaded at King Hussein Airport, September 1987.

In addition to providing domestic and border security for the country, the Jordanian Armed Forces have assumed a prominent regional and international role as a provider of humanitarian assistance and military training. The Jordanian Armed Forces recently cooperated with Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization to send humanitarian aid including rescue equipment, tents, logistical support, medical supplies, and food to Syria and Turkey following the 2023 Turkey-Syria Earthquake.[24]

Medical services Edit

Jordan has dispatched several field hospitals to conflict zones and areas affected by natural disasters across the world such as Iraq, the West Bank, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Haiti, Indonesia, Congo, Liberia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, and Pakistan. The Kingdom's field hospitals have extended aid to some one million people in the West Bank and 55,000 in Lebanon.[25][26]

On 24 November 2010, another Jordanian military field hospital (Gaza 11) arrived in the coastal territory of Gaza to replace (Gaza 10) whose tour of duty came to an end after treating 44,000 Palestinians and performing 720 minor and major surgeries since its inception in September 2010.[27][28]

Police and military training Edit

The Jordanians have helped Iraqis by providing them with military and police training as well as donating military and police equipment.[26] The armed forces trained tens of thousands of Iraqi troops and policemen after the U.S.-led invasion.[29][30][26]

Jordan has also begun training Libyan policemen as part of a programme to strengthen ties between the countries. The training programme is part of a wider plan to re-integrate 200,000 former rebel fighters into Libyan society.[31]

Gallery Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ a b International Institute for Strategic Studies (25 February 2021). The Military Balance 2021. London: Routledge. p. 347. ISBN 9781032012278.
  2. ^ "Freihat appointed chairman of joint chiefs-of-staff". Jordan Times. 2 October 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  3. ^ Tucker, Spencer C. (2010). The Encyclopedia of Middle East Wars: The United States in the Persian Gulf. ISBN 978-1851099481. Retrieved 10 June 2016 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "Jordan Armed Forces modernization continues with wide scale issue of new KA2 Digital Camouflage". Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Defense & Security Intelligence & Analysis: IHS Jane's". Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  6. ^ " Resources and Information". Archived from the original on 25 August 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  7. ^ Lang, Hardin; Wechsler, William; Awadallah, Alia. "The Future of U.S.–Jordanian Counterterrorism Cooperation". Center for American Progress.
  8. ^ Bender, Jeremy (4 February 2015). "Jordan's special forces are some of the best in the Middle East". Business Insider. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  9. ^ Hardin Lang; William Wechsler; Alia Awadallah (30 November 2017). "The Future of U.S.–Jordanian Counterterrorism Cooperation". Center for American Progress. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Rapid intervention brigade named after Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed". Jordan Times. 21 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Janes | Latest defence and security news". Archived from the original on 18 May 2020. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  12. ^ ":: SOFEX :: Home Page". Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  13. ^ "KADDB Industrial Park". 9 October 2009. Archived from the original on 28 April 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
  14. ^ ":: KADDB Industrial Park ::". Archived from the original on 7 February 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
  15. ^ "Gendarmerie Director, UN official discuss cooperation - Jordan News - Ammon News". Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  16. ^ Peace Operation Training Center JOR Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ [1] Archived July 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 August 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Troop and police contributors. United Nations Peacekeeping". Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  20. ^ "Jordan's Peace-Keeping Forces - View Points - Ammon News". Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  21. ^ al-Hussein, Abdullah II bin. Our Last Best Chance: The Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril, New York City: Viking Adult, 2011. ISBN 978-0-670-02171-0 pg 241
  22. ^ "Jordan enlists army in climate fight". Archived from the original on 24 February 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  23. ^ "Jordan enlists army in climate fight". Archived from the original on 27 February 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  24. ^ "Jordan sends multiple batches of humanitarian aid for Syria, Turkey relief efforts". Jordan Times. 8 February 2023. Retrieved 11 March 2023.
  25. ^ [2] Archived October 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ a b c "DefenseLink News Article: Jordanian Military Helps Its Neighbors". Archived from the original on 30 November 2009. Retrieved 5 July 2010.
  27. ^ "Jordanian military field hospital arrives in Gaza - Jordan - Zawya". 17 June 2011. Archived from the original on 17 June 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  28. ^ "Jordanian military field hospital arrives in Gaza - Jordan News - Ammon News". Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  29. ^ "Jordan-Military Cooperation with Other Arab States". Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  30. ^ "Jordan watches post-America Iraq very closely". Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  31. ^ "Jordan begins Libya police training programme". BBC News. 25 April 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2016.

External links Edit