Operation International, a function of the Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce, is once again underway.

Operation International pairs international officers attending the Command and General Staff College – as well as their families – with local sponsors.

Approximately 120 officers from some 90 countries will be members of the 2020 graduating class at the CGSC.

Currently, there are 51 sponsors, of whom about 10 who are willing to sponsor two international officers.

Maxine Hunter, coordinator of the program, said about 40 more sponsors are needed for next year’s class.

The program has been in operation since 1952.

“Operation International’s goal since its start in 1952: to provide a warm welcome to the international officers and their families on their arrival in the community and to sustain that hospitality throughout their year with us,” according to the organization’s mission statement.

Sponsors assist the officers and their families as they settle into the community, locate housing, insure cars, obtain driver’s licenses, open bank accounts, enroll children in schools and activities and many other things.

“It’s really just being a friend to them and making them feel welcome,” Hunter said.

There is no cost to sponsor an international officer.

“It just takes a little of your time,” Hunter said. “Just keep in touch with them. We ask every sponsor to see their international officer at least once a quarter.”

Hunter said sponsors have the enjoyment of learning about other countries.

“It’s a very rewarding experience for sponsors,” she said.

She said the international officers “appreciate what the sponsors do for them.”

Applications are available at the Chamber office or by contacting Hunter at maxinehoflv@gmail.com

Information packets and maps showing which countries are sending officers are now available in the Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce office, 518 Shawnee St. The organization’s phone number is 913-682-4112.