Royal Jordanian Navy Maritime Domain Awareness Capability Based Assessment: Securing and Protecting the Maritime Borders of Jordan
In July 2023, ISG’s Jordan team – working with the Royal Jordanian Navy (RJN) – completed a 7-month Capability Based Assessment (CBA) focused on Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). The U.S. Senior Defense Official/Defense Attaché (SDO/DATT) and Military Assistance Program-Jordan (MAP-J) initiated the CBA in order to support Jordanian efforts to secure the maritime borders of Jordan, secure the vital infrastructure of the Port of Aqaba, and enable the establishment of a Coast Guard unit.
At the outset of the MDA CBA, Colonel Hisham Khaleel Al Jarrah, Commander of the RJN stated:
“Under the visionary guidance of the Chairman of Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army (JAF), a Capability-Based Building Effort in the realm of Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) is being strategically pursued to attain His Majesty's King Abdullah II vision. This initiative entails a comprehensive approach to enhancing the nation's capacity to comprehend, manage, and secure maritime activities. By prioritizing the development of cutting-edge technologies, robust surveillance systems, data fusion techniques and a skilled workforce, this endeavor aims to strengthen the homeland's maritime surveillance capabilities. This proactive strategy aligns with His Majesty's vision for a secure and thriving maritime environment, ensuring the protection of vital maritime interests, effective response to threats, and the sustainable management of maritime resources.”
Over the course of 7-months, the MDA CBA Committee assessed the RJN’s current ability to conduct holistic Maritime Domain Awareness and determined future requirements to enhance Jordan’s ability to monitor, interdict, and protect against maritime-based threats as outlined in the RJN MDA Future Concept. The Committee completed a baseline assessment and executed the Capability, Gap, and Solutions Analysis phases of the CBA, resulting in the development of recommendations to close or mitigate identified gaps.
Integral to the success of the CBA was the development of a RJN MDA Future Concept, detailing a multi-tiered maritime security operational management and response framework utilizing organic, inorganic, and dynamic response capabilities to detect, deter, identify, intercept, and interdict threats that might threaten Jordanian national security. The Concept served as the basis for determining capabilities required to execute future maritime domain awareness operations and in turn enabled the identification of capability gaps between “as is” and “to be” capabilities. Detailed analysis established 15 new or critical capabilities and 54 separate tasks deemed necessary to execute the RJN MDA Future Concept. Gaps identified were refined into 5 primary gaps, which were prioritized by their potential impact and likelihood of occurrence. To mitigate the identified gaps, the MDA CBA Committee proposed potential solution approaches across the entirety of the Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leader Development, Personnel, Facilities, and Policy (DOTMLPF-P) framework and organized them under four lines of effort in the MDA CBA implementation plan:
- Force Design (Organization and Personnel)
- Force Design (Materiel Upgrades and Procurements)
- Training Needs
- Logistics Improvements
In order to more effectively address the gaps identified in the CBA, the RJN Commander directed that the organization, personnel, and logistics activities be closely aligned and nested with existing JAF-wide Human Capital Development and Logistics modernization CBA implementation efforts. The RJN CDR stated “The MDA CBA is realistic, practical, and well organized. ”
Of particular significance throughout the execution of the CBA was the JAF Chairman’s mandate to establish a Coast Guard unit within the RJN organizational structure. This pressing requirement necessitated the completion of the CBA within a compressed timeline and required the MDA CBA Committee to conduct a dedicated analysis of Coast Guard requirements, including determination of an effective organizational structure, identification of personnel requirements based on operational requirements, and an analysis of Coast Guard fleet requirements.
The RJN will now brief the outputs of the MDA CBA to the Jordanian Armed Forces Requirements Oversight Committee. Once approved by the Chairman, the implementation of the MDA CBA will secure Jordan’s maritime borders and protect the port of Aqaba and its critical infrastructure.
ISG Supports 2023 Exercise Keris Aman
ISG’s Peacekeeping and Exercises (PKX) Team recently concluded its support to Exercise Keris Aman 23 – co-hosted by the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) at the Malaysian Peacekeeping Centre in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. Keris Aman 23 ran from August 13-26, 2023, and is the largest annual international peacekeeping field training exercises in the world. Keris Aman 23 enables instructors from multiple countries to integrate and provide cross education, further strengthening interoperability between allies and partners.
Nearly 800 personnel, including 66 U.S. and 426 Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) personnel participated. Keris Aman 23 consisted of UN peacekeeping operations staff training, field training events in areas such as explosive ordnance disposal, medical planning/first aid, patrolling, checkpoint operations, and gender protection. This critical enabler staff and field training focused on UN and international peacekeeping and stability operations.
With funding support from the U.S. State Department’s Global Programs and Initiatives (GPOI), ISG played a central role in the overall success of this exercise. Epitomizing the Train-the-Trainer concept, the ISG PKX Team executed two preceding Lane Training Development events that prepared trainers from the 19 participating countries to design, and then to lead, the training on six Field training lanes and four Staff training lanes during the exercise. The 50 Instructors trained in this process, and then went on to train most of the personnel participating in the Keris Aman 23 exercise.
Throughout the exercise, ISG’s 13 subject matter experts guided and mentored the training cadre to further develop their instructional skills and methodologies that they will subsequently carry home with them to their national peacekeeping training centers.
Military personnel traveled from across the Indo-Pacific to participate in the exercise. Partner nations included Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Canada, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uruguay and Vietnam. Notably, many of the participants have already been assigned for near-term service in ongoing United Nations Peacekeeping missions and/or service in their national peacekeeping training centers.
At the closing ceremony, MAF Joint Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Haji Fazal Bin Haji Abdul Rahman, highlighted:
“Personnel in peacekeeping missions come from diverse organizations and nations yet must coordinate together in each peacekeeping mission. The collective experiences gained from this multinational exercise are far beyond what we could have obtained on our own. It has provided us with priceless exposures, experiences, and lessons that will be a guiding platform to enhance our capabilities and continuously prepare for any uncertainties.”
During the exercise, Malaysian, American, and other partner nation forces worked together to enhance interoperability and mission effectiveness in common tactics, techniques, and procedures in accordance with UN doctrine, with the objective of furthering UN peacekeeping troop performance in regional peace operations.
ISG will also support next year’s iteration of the multinational peacekeeping exercise series which will be Shanti Prayas IV at the Birendra Peace Operations Training Center in Panchkhal, Nepal in February of 2024.
ICB SUCCESS STORY
A Win for Ghana’s Maritime Security is a Win for the United States
At the culmination of the African Heads of State conference in Washington, D.C. in August 2014, the President announced the creation of the Security Governance Initiative (SGI). SGI focused on six African partner nations, including the Republic of Ghana. Bilateral engagements with Ghanaian officials in 2014-2016 culminated in the development of a Joint Country Action Plan (JCAP). The JCAP identified three focus areas of partnership. Focus Area 1 articulated a desired end state in which Ghana is better positioned to identify, mitigate, and respond to maritime threats, as well ensure economic sustainability and development in its waters, by developing and employing a whole-of-government National Integrated Maritime Strategy (NIMS).
Over a two-year timespan, 2017 – 2019, ISG conducted a series of ten engagements with the Government of Ghana’s interagency Maritime Security Technical Working Group (MSTWG) to draft the NIMS. This process was tremendously complex and involved convening multiple maritime stakeholders vying for responsibility and limited resources. Given the ambiguity around the approval of the NIMS, ISG and the MSTWG concluded that the strategy would only be executed if stakeholders were specifically directed to implement it by the highest levels of government—specifically, by the president of the republic. At the conclusion of the program, the MSTWG sent the final draft strategy to the Ministers of National Security and Transportation for submission to the presidential cabinet.
Shortly after submission, the world was gripped with the COVID-19 pandemic, and business as usual ceased. Periodic, informal check-ins over the next three years resulted in no new information about the status of the NIMS. It seemed to have completely disappeared. Suddenly (and apparently unbeknownst to the MSTWG members), in his keynote address at the National Blue Economy Summit on June 1, 2023, President Akufo-Addo unexpectedly referenced the NIMS and noted that the government would soon be implementing the new maritime strategy. This brought the NIMS back to life. The MSTWG focal point and other key stakeholders started conducting a series of press conferences and interviews on major Ghanaian news outlets to promote the strategy. On August 29, 2023, President Akufo-Addo presided over the official launch of the NIMS at the Burma Camp military base in Accra.
Upon implementation, it is envisioned that the NIMS will coordinate efforts to promote maritime security, economic development, and environmental protection. It includes a funding mechanism (drawing funds from the Ghana Maritime Authority, Ports and Harbours Authority, and National Petroleum Corporation) to fund a secretariate to oversee implementation. ISG and the MSTWG drafted the associated Strategic Communications Plan and Strategic Implementation Framework back in 2019, but these documents could be revisited and revised as a next step.
ISG project lead Nick Tomb expressed deep satisfaction with the signing of the NIMS. He noted that it will empower Ghana to take a strategic, comprehensive approach to challenges and opportunities in its maritime domain, and positions Ghana as a model to other countries in the region. ISG Institutional Capacity Building success stories like this demonstrate how the investment of time, a tailored approach, and the development of long-term relationships, support outcomes that enable partners to own the approach and develop institutional capabilities and shared U.S. objectives.
Budget Analyst Lead, Ms. Angela Eccles
The Institute for Security Governance (ISG) is comprised of a diverse team of experienced individuals. Ms. Angela Eccles is no exception, as is evidenced by her impressive arc of achievements throughout her career. Her time at ISG is especially notable, prompting us to thank her for her contributions and honor her with this Standing Ovation highlight. Ms. Eccles joined the ISG in February 2008 as a member of the contract support team, having served in multiple roles during her tenure In September 2022, Ms. Eccles transitioned to a government role, leading the Institute Operation’s Budget and Finance Team. As the Budget Analyst Lead, Ms. Eccles provides direct oversight of programming, budgeting, execution, and review of the Institute’s various funding sources to include one-year and multi-year accounts under multiple appropriations and authorities. We recently asked Ms. Eccles a few questions to learn more about her work and her inspiration and to share the answers with her colleagues.
Can you share a brief overview of your professional journey and the key milestones that have led you to your current role?
Soon after graduating from college, I spent numerous years in the non-profit sector, then private industry, before working with the Department of Defense (DoD) as a defense contractor. As a DoD contractor, I grew my skills from contract administration to finance, eventually leading the program support and finance teams. When the Center for Civil Military Relations transitioned to the Institute for Security Governance in April 2019, my role evolved to that of Finance Manager for the contracted finance team, which was a tremendous growth experience and key milestone.
Another significant milestone was learning how to lead in a remote environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. My role as a manager changed, and I had to adapt accordingly. From finding numerous ways to build camaraderie to creating opportunities for effective communication, it was a humbling experience, and not without hiccups. However, it also taught me how to succeed in a challenging environment, creating both personal and professional resilience. During the pandemic, I began an MPA program, another key milestone, which tested my abilities, expanded my capacity for learning, and helped me realize how much I could accomplish.
What are some of the most significant projects or achievements you've been involved in during your time at ISG, and how do you feel they have impacted the organization or your team?
One of the most significant achievements has been my contribution to the justification in receiving funding for unfunded requirements (UFRs). Over the last five years, I’ve helped ISG obtain approximately $14M in UFRs, allowing for increased Security Cooperation execution and associated support costs.
Another significant endeavor was the transition from the Defense Institution Reform Initiative (DIRI) and Wales Initiative Funds (WIF) funding to ISG and International Security Cooperation Program (ISCP) funds for Title 10 Institutional Capacity Building projects. This transition required significant churn and realignment of duties, increasing the entire team’s workload exponentially. We finally have a great system for tracking and execution, but it has been a team effort.
Finally, attaining my MPA while working full time (and changing jobs!) was hugely significant for me. I appreciated being able to apply what I learned in real-world situations in my daily work.
Many people find inspiration and motivation in various places. Are there any role models, mentors, or personal experiences that have shaped your career and approach to your work? How have they influenced your professional development?
It may sound a bit cliché, but my mother continues to be a source of motivation, as she instilled in me at an early age that hard work, dedication, and resiliency are cornerstones to success.
An early role model in my professional career was the Executive Director at the non-profit I worked for. He was tough but fair, and unwaveringly honest, earning the respect of those who worked with and for him.
There have been multiple leaders within ISG that have helped me develop both personally and professionally. I owe a great deal to them as they helped me develop and build my skillset and confidence, particularly during my transition from contractor to government. Additionally, my team (both government and contractor) continues to provide me with the motivation and drive to improve, specifically where I have had to adapt both communication and teaching styles among a diverse team. Their impressive and varying backgrounds remind me there is more than one way to learn, lead, and teach.
ISG has seen its needs evolve over the years. How would you describe how you've adapted and transformed your skills and approaches to align with ISG's changing requirements? What advice encouragement would you give to others who are just starting out or might need a fresh look at their career path?
Over the last 15 years, I have watched ISG transform many times, and one must remain flexible and open to change, even though change can be incredibly difficult. For folks starting out, I would say do not be afraid to fail and to ask for help when needed. That also includes communicating failures, learning from them, then moving on. Excellent and honest communication and accountability help build trust.
What is one piece of advice you would offer your colleagues?
“One piece of advice to my colleagues is to maintain enthusiasm and dedication to the mission, even during challenging times or with mundane tasks. Demonstrating excellence daily allows leadership to see your commitment, which can lead to growth opportunities.”
We are extremely fortunate to include accomplished professionals like Ms. Eccles among our ranks and are pleased to offer this Standing Ovation from ISG’s leadership and colleagues. Angela, you are a tremendous leader and teammate, and we are inspired by your journey and your achievements.
MOBILE EDUCATION TEAM
ISG's “Women’s Integration into the Armed Forces” Seminar Wraps in Colombia