AFRC hosts 26th annual International Air Reserve Symposium at HARB

  • Published
  • By 482nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
  • 482nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Air Force Reserve Command hosted the 26th annual International Air Reserve Symposium at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida, September 13 to 16.

The symposium gives Air Reserve senior military leaders the opportunity to discuss important topics and issues with their international counterparts.

Col. S. James Frickel, 482nd Fighter Wing Vice Commander, represented the wing and presented the leaders in attendance a wing mission brief.

“It’s an honor to have the IARS here at Homestead and to have the opportunity to showcase our base and our mission with international partners,” Frickel said. “Being able to share and learn from military leaders from around the globe is valuable now and for our future fight.”

Maj. Gen. Bret Larson, 22nd Air Force Commander, served as the Air Force Reserve representative and the chairman of the IARS. Maj. Gen. Duke Pirak, Air National Guard Deputy Director, represented the ANG at the event.

Other senior leaders in attendance represented countries from around the world including, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Throughout the week, leaders gave a variety of presentations on subjects ranging from deployments to leadership development.

Maj. Hans van Buren of the Netherlands serves as the Secretary of the IARS office and has been involved in the IARS since 1998 when the event was in Vienna, Austria. After serving 40 years in the Netherlands reserve, he says the IARS is a place where members can learn a lot from each other despite their national differences.

“Although the systems from the participating countries differ on several areas, we still have a lot in common,” van Buren said. “We all struggle with the same challenges, but with the benefits of having reserves as well.”

In the official closing of the 26th IARS, Maj. Gen. Larson handed over the chairmanship to Australia, which is the host country for the 27th IARS scheduled for 2023.