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Polish GROM Unit Commemorates a Jordanian Commander

Photo: Kancelaria Prezydenta/Youtube
Photo: Kancelaria Prezydenta/Youtube

On the fifth anniversary of the Jordanian SOF Major being KIA, the Polish GROM unit commemorated the ally with a tribute commemorative plaque and a special video clip. Emphasizing the connection between the special ops circles between the two states, and stressing the importance of the shared effort in the struggle against international terrorism, the clip points out the most extreme conditions, and the risk that the operators face in the field.

GROM announced, in its video material, that the unit unveiled a commemorative plate paying tribute to Major Rashid Hussein Ziyudov, commander of the Jordanian SOF unit. He was KIA as a result of heavy injuries in a fight, that took place back in 2016, in the Irbid region, against the terrorists. One needs to remember that the Jordanian commando units were deeply involved in the operations against the so-called ISIS. They have been attacking them over the course of several operations, often in the very epicenter of the terrorist activities undertaken by Daesh in its prime time. The Jordanian military and the society as a whole suffered from many losses during the combat operations aimed at diminishing the expansion and reach, and, ultimately, neutralizing the terrorists, posing threat directly to the Kingdom, as well as to other states, almost all around the world. The Jordanian SOF component has been one of the primary assets that the Jordanian command could have used, during the aforesaid campaign.

In general, the Jordanian military, intel, and SOF components have been, and still are one of the key elements of the international alliance fighting first against Al-Queda, and now against ISIS. The effectiveness of these units is expressed in their capacity to penetrate regions controlled by the terrorists, but also in the ability to provide and exchange key intelligence with the external partners. 

Commemorating the Jordanian major, the Polish JW GROM commandoes emphasized their connection to Jordanians, established throughout the years, based on the training exchange programme. Jordan is currently one of the nations that have the fastest developing special operations forces component around. This can be seen in the establishment of the KASOTC (King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center) range near Amman. The Jordanian King also supports the international networking activities that the Jordanian SOF component is engaged in. Apart from joint activities undertaken with Poland, the Jordanian special ops units also work together with their counterparts from the US or the UK. The joint efforts create a new dimensionality of the international relations, and also of the relations between the operators, and the commanders.

Therefore, a unique connection has been established, that could be perceived as a brotherhood of arms, who want to symbolically pay tribute to the late Jordanian commander. One should note that the commemorative plaque is also a symbolic memory of missions undertaken by other Jordanian commandos who were KIA or injured, when on the mission. The movie clip prepared by the JW GROM involves the former Polish defence attaché to Jordan - he paid attention to the life of Major Muad Alhuwaitat who passed away a few months after Rashid did. The ceremony of unveiling of the plaque at one of the facilities used by the GROM Unit has involved both Polish, as well as Jordanian SOF operators.

Leigh Neville, when describing the contemporary structure of the Jordanian Special Operations component (in his book “The Elite. The A-Z of Modern Special Operations Forces”) notes that back in 2016 the JORSOCOM was disbanded in 2016 (after 20 years from being established). The command in question was based on three brigade-level land forces elements - 37th SF Brigade with the 101st SOF battalion, 71st SOF Battalion, and 81st Special Airborne Battalion, and 28th Royal Rangers Brigade; supported by the 5th Special Operations Aviation Brigade. Currently, a joint JSOC command has been established, gathering together 3 Special Forces (Special) Units (two dealing with anti-terrorism operations, and third acting as personal security detail). The Jordanian SOF component also includes the 61st recon regiment supporting the JSOC, and the 77th recon regiment of the Marines. The special ops are taking place in cooperation with the units subordinated to the Jordanian Ministry of Internal Affairs - 14th Special Gendarmerie’s Unit (SWAT), and 30th Special Police Unit (SWAT).

Jordanian outlet (along with other local outlets) indicated that the Polish ambassador to Jordan, based in Amman, Lucjan Karpinski, paid a visit at the grave of the late soldier in the Graisa/Zarqa governorship where he laid down flowers and expressed his gratitude and approval. The Polish ambassador reportedly also visited the father of the late soldier - General Hussein al-Zyoud - thanking him for the sacrifice his son made in a joint fight against terror.