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German officer visits 185th ARW

  • Published
  • 185th Air Refueling Wing

A German officer is visiting the 185th Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City, Iowa this week as a participant of a military exchange program.

The officers participating in the Defense Military Reserve Exchange Program are Lt. Julia Renke, a personnel officer from Germany’s air force or Luftwaffe and 1st Lt. Joshua Thomas, the Sustainment Services Flight Commander assigned to the 185th ARW. Thomas stated that he will be hosting Lt. Renke during tours and meetings that showcase the Iowa Air National Guard’s missions and capabilities at the 185th ARW and the 132nd Wing in Des Moines, Iowa.

“The KC-135 walkthrough was incredible; to lay in the boom pod, sit in the cockpit, and spend time meeting some of the Airmen and NCOs that take care of the aircraft. The capabilities match that of a large scale base while maintaining a smaller footprint in base size,” stated Renke.

According to Thomas, MREP provides National Guard and Reserve Participants training associated with mobilization duties while enhancing their ability to work and communicate with military individuals of the host nation. Thomas also said will be visiting Germany for two weeks in the fall and learn more about German NATO operations.

“NATO Partnerships are great opportunities for learning cultural strengths, differences, building camaraderie and new friendships with our NATO Allies. We are privileged to have Lt. Renke visiting the 185th ARW and the Iowa Air National Guard,” said Thomas.

Renke also stated how important the experience was for her as a German officer.

“Camaraderie, Partnership, and Friendship are the three words presented on our challenge coins which we give to important individuals on our journey in the states. Those three words embody the important benefits to a program like the Germany-U.S. Officers Exchange Program,” said Renke.