Top military commanders say the U.S. and Jordan will conduct a large-scale military exercise next month.

Jordan's Petra news agency says the drills will involve 17 other countries. The goals are strengthening military ties and improving coordinated handling of threats, terrorism and crises.

The visiting chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, discussed the maneuvers Sunday with his Jordanian counterpart, Lt. Gen. Mashal Mohammed Zabin.

The drills are called "Eager Lion." They are set for May 7 to May 28. Petra said they would be Jordan's largest, involving 8,000 participants from five continents.