Jordan is celebrating its thirty-second anniversary of independence from Great Britain. The celebrations began on?
GV PAN Civilians looking at tanks and other armoured vehicles in grounds or Jordan university (2 shots)
SV PAN Commander of the Jordanian Armed Forces Major-General Sharif Zeid Ben shaker (Centre carrying swagger-stick) arrives and looking at portable missile system and other equipment (7 shots)
SV Children being shown heavy gun
SV People looking at shell
SV people around soldier holding anti-aircraft "red-eye" missile launcher
SV & GV Commander Ben Shaker and other officials watch as parachutists descent (3 shots)
LV Parachutist lands in middle of target area PAN TO cheering crowd
LV Other parachutist lands just missing target area.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Jordan is celebrating its thirty-second anniversary of independence from Great Britain. The celebrations began on May 25th, and as part of the week-long demonstration of the country's importance in the Arab World, the Commander of Jordan's Armed Forces, Major General Sharif Zeid Ben Shaker on Sunday (27 May) opened an exhibition of the nation's arms and weapons in the grounds of Jordan University.
SYNOPSIS: The arms exhibition marks jordan's Army Day, a day when the country's forces allow outsiders a glimpse behind the scenes of what Israel has called "the most efficient troops" amongst its' Arab adversaries.
Commander Ben Shaker is in charge of an almost sixty-eight thousand strong army. One in every seven men under the age of forty-five serve at any one time in Jordan's armed forces. The country spends a quarter of its national budget on defence. In the Middle East, Jordan's defence expenditure is only surpassed by Israel and Syria, and it has enabled the small kingdom to obtain the most up-to-date military hardware.
Sandhurst-trained King Hussein has been a major force in building up Jordan's armed forces. And today, fortified by two-years conscription jordan's armed forces remain - not just in terms of equipment, but also in terms of training, discipline and morale - the most impressive troops in the Arab world.
For the visitors to the Army Day exhibition, the precision of Jordan's paratroopers was undoubtedly one of the major attractions.
King Hussein wants to boost further the military strengths of Arab front-line states and says jordan will obtain sophisticated weapons "irrespective of the source."