More than 70 NATO guard and reserve officers came together for an annual development course July 18 through 25.
Reserve officers from the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland gathered on Ramstein for the weeklong International Junior Officer Leadership Development course.
The course involved lectures in international leadership, teambuilding exercises, cultural diversity, military officership, international relations and cross-cultural mobilization issues.
“NATO (is comprised) of 28 members who all have different cultures,” said German air force Maj. Frank Gagel, Franco-German Brigade officer. “It is important to communicate with each other and build friendships because you may not only see these people now but also down the road in your career.”
In addition to the classroom portion of the course, IJOLD offered leadership seminars and a military heritage tour in Bastogne, Belgium.
While sharing the experience of working with their multinational counterparts, participants were not only tested mentally but also physically during a training exercise with the 435th Security Forces Squadron.
The 435th SFS trained the officers on range estimation, memorization exercises, heavy weapons familiarization and size, activity, location, unit, time and equipment reporting procedures.
“The IJOLD exercise is a great opportunity to get to know our NATO allies and train in field conditions with them,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jordan Lucey, 435th SFS contingency response team member. “The relationships developed during their course are invaluable to the sustained success of all of our contingency operations all over the world.”
IJOLD is held in a different NATO country each year.