TEC visits Danish Home Guard for training collaboration

  • Published
  • By Senior Master sgt. Catharine Schmidt
  • I.G. Brown Training and Education Center

Members of the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center (TEC) at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tennessee, visited the Danish Home Guard Training Center here July 5-7 to observe instructor courses and discuss future collaboration efforts.

The courses are part of the Military Reserve Exchange Program (MREP), where U.S. National Guard and Reserve members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines join with international forces in an eight-day training event hosted by the Danish Home Guard. Along with the United States and Denmark, forces from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland also participated.

"In 2012, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Ministry of Defense for the Kingdom of Denmark signed a memorandum of agreement to strengthen bonds between both countries and their respective military organizations through the Military Reserve Exchange Program," said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Patricia Labandeira, Air National Guard (ANG) International Affairs superintendent.

Labandeira reached out to the TEC because of the training centers' similar missions. TEC University holds the ANG Instructor Certification Program, which aligns with the Basic Instructor Course and Advanced Instructor Course held here in teaching students how to develop and deliver lessons effectively.

TEC University's director of education, Tammie Smeltzer, observed the classes and found that both training centers had similar methods of teaching their respective instructor courses.

"Although we are miles apart, we both have the same mindset of enhancing the learning experience with a student-centered focus," she said.

"This was a great opportunity to experience firsthand some of the innovative approaches to instructor training used by the Danish Home Guard," said John Erdman, TEC University training specialist, who also observed the classes. "It also helped reinforce some of the recent revisions we have made to our Instructor Certification Program that parallel those also made by our Danish colleagues. Hopefully the visit laid down the foundation on which to build a long-term mutually beneficial relationship with the Danish Home Guard."

"As the relationship between the U.S. National Guard, Reserve Commands and the Danish Home Guard strengthens, the interest for Danish Home Guard members to come to the United States for training has grown," said Labandeira. "We look forward to working with both training centers as they begin discussing collaboration efforts, and we are excited by the possibilities this relationship might bring."

The TEC already invites international forces to participate in Airman Leadership School and Noncommissioned Officer Academy at the Paul H. Lankford Center, McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tennessee.

Recent graduates have included students from Canada, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan. Although the TEC and Danish Home Guard are only in discussions now, the MREP could afford more international forces to be part of the TEC mission to train and educate today's Airmen for tomorrow's fight.

"Strengthening existing alliances and collaborating on training and education efforts is critical for the growth and development of our forces," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jacob Corbett, TEC deputy commander. "This partnership is a win-win scenario for the Danish and U.S. forces."