KMC leaders join Leadership Connect

U.S. Air Force members and local business leaders from the Kaiserslautern Military Community pose for a photo after a meeting of a Leadership Connect program at Ramstein Air Base, Feb. 10. Participants had the opportunity to meet local community leaders and build additional skills to lead their organizations. Courtesy photo

U.S. Air Force officer, enlisted and senior civilian leaders gathered with local community leaders to take part in Leadership Connect, Feb. 10.

This program aims to connect experienced Air Force leaders from U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, and the Third Air Force wings at Ramstein and Spangdahlem with local German leaders in the areas of business, academia, industry, culture, and others.

“Through monthly ‘Connect Days,’ members will gain a deeper understanding of the community around them and new insights on leadership challenges that they can apply in their role as USAF leaders,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Derek France, Third Air Force and Kaiserslautern Military Community commander. “After completion of the program, graduates will have a broader toolkit for leadership from a variety of perspectives and great connections with each other as well as our host nation partners.”

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Avery Thompson, 21st Operational Weather Squadron weather journeyman, is recognized as the Airlifter of the Week at Kapaun Air Station, Germany, Feb. 7, 2023. Thompson was recognized for his outstanding performance in his job during the short time he has been there, and his ability to adapt in difficult situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Regan Spinner)

Leadership Connect was first introduced by the major command in 2021 at Royal Air Force Stations Lakenheath and Mildenhall in the United Kingdom; but USAFE-AFAFRICA just started the program in Germany this year. The program will focus on several leadership topics such as adaptation, perceptive thinking, and making critical decisions.

The KMC group’s first meeting featured a tour of the BorgWarner facilities in Mannheim, and a presentation by Dr. Juergen Adam, vice-president and general manager Europe and South America at BorgWarner Inc.

Adam led the group in a disucssion on leading in a fast-changing world with a lot of uncertainty and propelling an organization for change. However, his message was simple.

“Leadership is all about people, and culture is very important in any organization,” Adam said.

Participants will meet up to two times a month, and the next meeting is scheduled for March 10.

“Attendees will have the chance to expand their abilities by exchanging ideas and strategies,” explained Lt. Col. Ryan Ferdinandsen, Leadership Connect program lead and 3rd AF Commander’s Action Group chief. “The overall intent is to expand their knowledge and hone their leadership skills with their current, and future organizations.”