SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --
Captain Eike Selle, an officer with the German Luftwaffe, came to Scott Air Force Base on June 1 through the Military Reserve Exchange Program (MREP). The purpose of this exchange is to show members of the military how different bases work in other countries such as America.
On June 12, 2019 Selle held a briefing here, to discuss his background including what the German military is like. He shared some comparisons and spoke about what he learned during his visit.
Selle discussed how he is a personnel officer in the Reserve Luftwaffe, which is what Germany calls their Air Force. A focus for his presentation was the relationship between the United States of America and Germany as a strong one, and how this allowed him the opportunity to visit the 932nd Airlift Wing.
The importance of building strong international relationships is key to developing resilient leaders across all branches of the military. Selle delved into how relationships like this are necessary because of their decline of military strength in their country.
Although Germany has a population of 82 million, they only have 150,000 active duty soldiers and 30-40,000 Reserves.
Germany also has a difference in how their Reserve Officers work. There, they decide when they wish to come in to do their military jobs since there is no minimum requirement of how much time they have to come in. The maximum amount of time the Reserves can serve per year is ten months.
Selle went onto discuss how this can have faults and benefits. On their bases, they do not have Reserve wings. All of the wings are primarily for active duty and when the Reserves come in to work, they help where they are needed with their jobs in those wings.
Selle spoke about what it meant for him to be able to speak about his background and the opportunities he has had by being part of the Military Reserve Exchange Program.
“I think this has been great opportunity to share my experiences and to show appreciation to the team that I have met here,” said Selle. “At the same time, I feel [that I am] a part of the mission and what I’m convinced of is to really motivate other people to engage in these kinds of exchanges and international assignments. I also think it was a great opportunity to speak in front a fantastic group of Airmen,” Selle added.
The Airmen who attended the event had positive feedback when speaking about Selle and the exchange program.
“It was a great experience and a wonderful opportunity to meet the Captain from the German Air Force,” said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Fairchild, with the 932nd Logistics Readiness Flight.
“He gave us a great overview of what their military is like and what their Air Force and Reserves is like for their component. I definitely would like to have more opportunities for something like this to take place, both for us to go see them and for them to come here. It strengthens the bond between us and military members around the world,” said Fairchild.