North Carolina Air Guard Sergeant Experiences British Culture
By by Tech. Sgt. Anthony Ballard, 145th Airlift Wing Public Afffairs
/ Published August 08, 2018
08/05/2018 – CHARLOTTE, N.C. – -- Staff Sgt. Jason Chipley, 145th Logistics Readiness Squadron, spent two weeks with the Royal Air Force in the United Kingdom as part of the Military Reserve Exchange Program (MREP). This trip allowed Staff Sgt. Chipley to share his experience with the Royal Air Force and experience their culture.
“It was a great honor to work with the Royal Air Force. MREP is meant to build relationships and to learn from one another and I was happy to be a part of that,” said Chipley.
MREP is an annual coordinated international exchange program with NATO militaries to help develop cultural understanding, regional expertise and language proficiency and interoperability. It 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.
“This was a great opportunity for Staff Sgt. Chipley and he represented the North Carolina Air National Guard well. He had the full support of the wing while he was there,” said 1st Lt. Jack Hogue, 145th Logistics Readiness Squadron, who is the Materials Management Officer in Charge.
The MREP program not only allows military members to learn and exchange ideas about their respective career fields, but it also provides the opportunity to be immersed in the host country’s culture.
“I was lucky to visit when I did because I was able to see the 100 year celebration of the Royal Air Force and see many historical sites around the country,” said Chipley.
Members of the Royal Air Force took Chipley to see sites like the Royal Air Force Headquarters, a military parade, air shows, Buckingham Palace, Winston Churchill’s burial site, and various small towns during his visit.
“The hospitability of the Royal Air Force was great and I don’t think the experience would have been the same if it wasn’t with the military,” said Chipley, who visited the United Kingdom for first time.
Chipley also stated that he was able to help with a charity event that benefited the Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, and Families Association, which is similar to the Wounded Warrior Project.
“The people were extremely giving and excited to see us. They even wanted to take pictures with me because I was with the United States Air Force,” said Chipley. “I hope to go back again!”