The US Bolsters Ties with Jordan

The United States values its longstanding partnership with Jordan, with whom it coordinates closely on a range of diplomatic and security issues throughout the region, including the crisis in Syria, combating violent extremism, and advancing Middle East peace

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, in Amman, Jordan (Photo: AP)

The United States delivered eight Black Hawk helicopters to Jordan on, January 29, 2018, to help its regional ally defend itself. Jordanian and US officials said another eight Black Hawks would begin arriving next year under a military aid deal worth about $200 million.

In a handover ceremony at Marka military air force base, US ambassador to Jordan said Washington had supplied "millions of rounds of small arms ammunition, hundreds of bombs" and other equipment to Jordan since February 2017.

The helicopters are central to a US-funded "Rapid Reaction Force" set up by Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF) to counter ISIS. The United States is supporting efforts to strengthen the JAF’s ability to rapidly respond to transnational threats along its borders, particularly the Syrian border, through the provision of equipment, such as UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, and a focused training program to build the conventional skills and expertise of the JAF.

With the activation of ISIS, US Congress rendered financial assistance to upgrade security of Jordan’s borders. For the same purpose, Jordan’s Rapid Response Force received two lots of UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters. In 2015, Jordan requested another helicopter of the same model to monitor the border and fight terrorism.

The United States announced on February 13, 2018, that it will increase its annual financial support to Jordan as part of a new memorandum of understanding between the two countries. Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi signed the memorandum with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was visiting Amman as part of his five-nation tour of the region. Under the new agreement, the amount of foreign assistance to Jordan will grow to $1.2 billion per year, an annual increase of more than $200 million.

The US Military Assistance to Jordan

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in February 2015, provided Jordan up to $1 billion per year (2015-2017) in bilateral economic and security assistance to Jordan.

Through Foreign Military Financing (FMF), the United States supports building the capacity of the Jordanian armed forces (JAF) to protect their borders, secure its national territory, counter terrorism and contribute to Counter-ISIS Coalition operations. Jordan receives one of the largest amounts of FMF of any country in the world.

Since February 2015, the United States has expedited delivery of more than 26,000 rifles and machine guns, more than 3 million rounds of small arms ammunition, as well as 5,000 night vision devices to support Jordan’s immediate operational requirements.

The United States has also delivered several hundred critically needed munitions (Paveway laser-guided bombs, and targeting system) to the Royal Jordanian Air Force's (RJAF) F-16 fighter jets.

The United States has supported the "Jordan Border Security Program," an integrated border security surveillance, detection, and interdiction system along Jordan's land borders.

International Military Education and Training (IMET) provides military education and training to military students to increase the professionalization of military forces, build capacity in key areas, and build lasting military-to-military relationships.

DoD assistance bolsters partner nation military capacity to counter terrorism and protect borders. Jordan receives additional assistance through DoD authorities, including DoD’s Title 10 authorities to build the capacity of foreign security forces, Counter Terrorism Partnerships Fund (CTPF) assistance, as well as specific assistance for border security operations. Jordan is the single largest recipient of CTPF funding.

On February 18, 2016, President Obama signed an act of defense cooperation of US and Jordan that determined the supposed preferential supplies of US weapons to that country within the following three years.

Before that, the American assistance helped supporting the combat efficiency of F-16 falcon fighters operated by Jordan. Repair and acquisition of new engines for F-16 cost $115.1 million. US aid helped buying air-to-air long-range missiles AIM-120 AMRAAM for those F-16 falcon fighters for $131 million.

During recent years, Jordan has obtained the following systems: Javelin 162 anti-tank weapons and 1808 missiles for them for $388 million, AGM 114 Hellfire helicopter-launched Fire-and-Forget missiles, mobile short-range missiles, and night-vision equipment. Jordan’s fleet in the Red Sea received two 35-meter patrol boats for 480 million.

The US also supplied used weapons to Jordan. For instance, Jordan has received two Lockheed C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft.


The United States has provided assistance to Jordan’s security efforts since the late 1960s. Support is focused on building capacity of the Jordan Armed Forces (JAF) to counter threats in the region and support professionalization of the military. Although the United States and Jordan have never been linked by a formal treaty, they have cooperated on a number of regional and international issues over the years. The United States values its longstanding partnership with Jordan, with whom it coordinates closely on a range of diplomatic and security challenges and issues throughout the region, including the crisis in Syria, combatting violent extremism, and advancing Middle East peace.

Since the rise of ISIS and the beginning of the civil war in Syria, Jordan has become much more important geopolitically to the US, and hence the increased levels of aid. The aid level to Jordan has jumped significantly in the past several years. In 2011, the country got no more than $300 million in military assistance.

Jordan is among a few Arab states that have taken part in a US-led air campaign against ISIS. In December 2014, a Jordanian pilot was captured by ISIS after his F-16 crashed in ISIS- controlled territory in Syria and later burned alive.