SEMBACH, Germany — The U.S. Army NATO Brigade G5 section hosted a week of training for U.S. Military Personnel Exchange Program Soldiers Oct. 31 to Nov. 4.
The Military Personnel Exchange Program is a security cooperation program involving the reciprocal exchange of personnel between the U.S. Army and a similar unit in a foreign military service.
The U.S. Army NATO Brigade provides support to 55 MPEP Soldiers at 44 locations in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom.
The purpose of the week-long training was to assist the Soldiers assigned to these remote locations across Europe with mandatory readiness requirements.
"In April 2021, the United States Army NATO Brigade began providing administrative support to the Military Personnel Exchange Program and Schools of Other Nations," said Maj. Rebecca Cheman, U.S. Army NATO Brigade G5. "A year and a half later we invited the MPEP Soldiers to Sembach, Germany for readiness training and other administrative tasks required by the Department of the Army."
Capt. Joshua Hagler, a plans and simulation support officer assigned to the German Army Combat Training Center in Letzlingen, Germany, said he appreciated the opportunity to receive the training and meet with his counterparts from other locations.
"The training has been very focused and very useful," said Hagler. "The classes have been condensed and useful for the people who have been a part of it, and it's really going to help me in particular with several of the facets that are special to an individual who is assigned to an area where there is no other American Soldiers.
"In my case, the closest American is 100 kilometers away, and that's another individual. The closest [American] post to me is 300 kilometers away, 200 miles," he said. "Getting support or help in my area is not very easy, so a lot of these classes gave me some of the background information to use some of those systems to their greatest potential."
Cheman added that this training was the first opportunity the MPEPs had to interact with each other and exchange best practices.
Hagler said he is looking forward to working with Cheman and her staff at G5 on improving the program for future MPEPs.
"For my successors and others assigned to exchange programs across Europe, hopefully, we will have a welcome letter, a website and point of contact information, maybe even a Facebook group they can join that will give them updated information, contacts, easy access to former MPEPs, and other incoming MPEPs so the Soldiers, spouses and children can work together to make the assignment more positive from the start," said Hagler.
For more information go to U.S. Army NATO Brigade.