Jordan held a double anniversary celebration on Saturday (25 May). It was both Army Day?
Jordan held a double anniversary celebration on Saturday (25 May). It was both Army Day and the eighteenth anniversary of the country's independence.
Parades, displays and other festivities were held throughout the country. One of the first was given jointly by Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF) and Jordan's air force. In Marj El-Hammame -- a suburb of the capital, Amman -- The RAF's thirteen-man world-famous Falcon team of free-fall parachutists and five Jordanian parachutists gave a breathtaking performance. It was watched by Brigadier Ibrahim Ayyoub, who deputised for the King.
But the major event of the day was the 90-minute march past, in the capital itself, by the Jordanian armed forces. All units were represented.
King Hussein took the salute. Queen Alia -- his bride of eighteen months and third wife -- was also present. Three weeks before, on 3 May, Queen Alia gave birth to her first child; a daughter.
This May also marks the 21st anniversary of King Hussein's accession to the throne, following the abdication of his father King Tallal who had reigned for only one year. King Tallal's own father, King Abdullah, was assassinated in July 1951; it was King Abdullah's own proclamation (and Jordan's independence on 25 May 1946) that was being celebrated.
Jordan's armed forces are relatively small. The Army consists of two infantry divisions (each of up to nine infantry brigades and two armoured brigades). In addition there is an independent infantry brigade group, including one armoured-car regiment. The total strength is some 53,000 men.
The navy is made up of a Sea Force flotilla comprising eight armed motor launches, based at Aqaba.
The Air Force has two operational squadrons of British Hunter fighter-bombers and U.S. Starfighters. Its total strength is about 4,000 officers and men.