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International advisers bring European perspective to AU

Posted 6/22/2012   Updated 6/22/2012 Email story   Print story


by Kelly Deichert
Air University Public Affairs

6/22/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- When the two current international advisers started working at the Air War College last year, they expected to see a sea of blue. Instead, the Warfighting Department staff is diverse, featuring military members and civilians from different countries, branches and agencies.

"(It) ideally reflects the way wars are being fought nowadays," said lt. Col. Ulf Schorling from the German air force. "It's a very beneficial way to teach."

In addition to their AWC teaching duties, Schorling and Group Capt. Lyndon Hallett from the royal air force are the two international advisers for the Air University. They bring the European perspective while gaining an understanding and appreciation of American military strategy and culture.

"We bring a different perspective," Hallett said. "We know our own nations and the European mindset."

As AWC students, class of 2011, they developed this perspective as students and can now share it with their students and fellow faculty members during a three-year tour as advisers.

During a briefing to international officers June 6, Hallett and Schorling advised the incoming officers to engage with their class.

"Part of the educational experience here is about the international perspective," Schorling said. "Bring that to the table and talk about it."

Much of the AWC curriculum is discussion-based, and sometimes there is no "right" answer. This gives international officers a platform to share experiences and insights from their countries with others, while learning from other nations' students. "Make an argument for your position and learn from each other," Schorling said.

AWC students visit New York City and Washington, D.C., giving international officers an opportunity to meet with government officials. "Ask them things, find out how America works," Hallett said.

America isn't just Orlando, Fla., Las Vegas or Los Angeles, he said. "You don't really know (the country) until you've lived here."

Both international advisers, their wives and teenage children have traveled around the country and are active in their American neighborhoods.

Air University has provided a unique opportunity for Hallett, Schorling and their families through their year as students at the AWC and now as faculty and advisers.

"I really enjoy my time here and you will as well," Schorling told the international officers. "I really hope you have a great time."

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