SOFEX opened yesterday with another spectacular exhibition of the skill and professionalism of the Royal Jordanian Armed Forces. The tactical demonstration at SOFEX 2016 not only includes the Royal Jordanian Air Force and Jordan’s Joint Special Operations Command, but also introduces the nation’s newly established Quick Reaction Force.
Jordan has created the QRF to provide a rapid-response capability against situations that may flare up rapidly, particularly along the borders, and to sustain operations for several days. The QRF is an important element in the containment of Daesh and other extremist forces, and both the US and UK have supported this initiative with training and equipment. The Joint Special Operations Command has also taken an important role in shaping the structure and tactical employment of the QRF.
Rapid mobility is a crucial element, and additional Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks – which have been in JSOC service for some time – have been procured from the US to allow the immediate deployment of the QRF, along with more land vehicles. Communication is another important area in which new systems are being acquired, allowing Jordan to develop a fully deployable command and control capability.
In the SOFEX demonstration scenario, a soldier has been wounded and taken into care by villagers, watched by ISTAR assets. With commanders uncertain as to whether the village is ‘friendly’ or not, the QRF is called in to conduct a recovery. The main force arrives in the RJAF’s UH-60 Black Hawks, protected by AH-1F Cobra gunships. Although the village proves to be friendly, an enemy force intervenes during the extraction. Special forces arrive to help defeat the force, with air support provided by RJAF F-16 fighters. With the enemy overcome and the casualty safely recovered, the force egresses the village after a successful operation.