Photo Information

190903-M-HB658-1325 WADI SHADIYA, Jordan (Sept. 3, 2019) U.S. Marines with Alpha Battery, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, fire an M777 towed 155mm howitzer during exercise Eager Lion 2019. Eager Lion, U.S. Central Command's largest and most complex exercise, is an opportunity to integrate forces in a multilateral environment, operate in realistic terrain and strengthen military-to-military relationships. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Donald Holbert)

Photo by Staff Sgt. Donald Holbert

USS Boxer ARG, 11th MEU Complete Exercise Eager Lion 2019

9 Sep 2019 | 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

RED SEA - Marines and Sailors from the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) participated in multilateral Exercise Eager Lion in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Aug. 25-Sept. 5.

The 11th MEU’s participation in the exercise culminated with a company sized live-fire amphibious raid including amphibious assault vehicles, M777 howitzers and light armored reconnaissance vehicles. During the exercise, the 11th MEU partnered with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom.

“This is why partnerships matter,” said Col. Fridrik Fridriksson, commanding officer, 11th MEU. “Eager Lion allowed us the opportunity to maintain ready and responsive forces while working with our partners in the region. Together, we are prepared and trained to address unpredictable adversaries.”

Eager Lion, U.S. Central Command’s premiere exercise in the Levant region, is a major training event that provides U.S. forces, Jordan Armed Forces and 28 other participating nations the opportunity to improve their collective ability to plan and operate in a coalition-type environment through scenarios that span from a long-range bomber mission to maritime security operations to cyber threats from fictitious adversaries.

The 11th MEU trained alongside Jordan Armed Forces and other international partners across the full spectrum of military operations, including an amphibious landing; Maritime Raid Force dive operations and kinetic range qualifications; aerial insertion of the Jordanian 61st Battalion Quick Reaction Force and British Royal Gurkha Rifles; explosive ordnance disposal ranges; nuclear, biological and chemical defense response; and joint integrated civil affairs training alongside partner nations to share best practices.

All forces of the 11th MEU launched from U.S. Navy amphibious ships, making the exercise the largest amphibious operation in the Central Command area of responsibility.

"We're committed to support and cooperate with our regional partners," said Capt. Jason Burns, commander, Amphibious Squadron (FIVE) 5. "Working side by side with our Italian, French and Jordanian partners during exercises such as Eager Lion maximizes our collective strengths and builds trust and bonds between our militaries and nations."

The Boxer ARG/11th MEU is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the Western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. The ARG/MEU departed their home port of San Diego for a regularly scheduled deployment, May 1.

For additional information contact the 11th MEU Communication Strategy and Operations Officer, Capt. Jim Stenger at or Lt. Andrew Bertucci, Commander, Amphibious Squadron Five Public Affairs Officer, at


Marine Corps News

Colonel Thomas M. Siverts
Commanding Officer

Colonel Tom Siverts is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1989. He achieved a commission as a Second Lieutenant through the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program following his graduation from the University of Virginia in May 1999. Colonel Siverts has deployed in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM. His other operational deployments include serving with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/8, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU); BLT 3/8, 22d MEU; BLT 2/8, 26th MEU, and Task Force 61/2.

Read Biography

Lieutenant Col. Steven M. Sprigg
Executive Officer

LtCol Sprigg was born in Parkersburg, WV. LtCol Sprigg enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in September 2004 and recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC. LtCol Sprigg was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in March 2008. He was designated a Naval Aviator in February 2011 and reported to HMLAT-303 for training as an AH-1W pilot. LtCol Sprigg is currently serving as the Executive Officer for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Camp Pendleton, California.

Read Biography

Sergeant Major Travis L. DeBarr
Sergeant Major

Sergeant Major DeBarrĀ enlisted in the Marine Corps and reported to MCRD San Diego, CA, for recruit training in October 1994.Staff Sergeant DeBarr completed two combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from September 2005 to April 2006 and again form March 2007 to September 2007. While serving with 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, First Sergeant DeBarr completed one combat deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, from October 2012 to May 2013. Sergeant Major DeBarr currently serves as the Sergeant Major for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Read Biography