Operation International seeking volunteers

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

The chairwoman of Operation International wants international military students who come to Fort Leavenworth to experience the American Heartland.

And Ann Soby is looking for volunteers who will help make that happen.

Operation International is a program of the Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce. The program matches local sponsors with international military officers who come to study at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.

Soby said the program is accepting applications for people who would like to serve as sponsors for international military students of the upcoming 2021-2022 class.

The current CGSC class has fewer international officers than normal. But Soby said she is expecting about 119 international officers in the new class, which is about the normal contingent. The new officers should arrive in June.

“We don’t know if families will accompany them or not,” Soby said.

She said families usually do accompany the international officers. But she said the COVID-19 pandemic may impact whether families travel with the officers.

Soby said sponsors help the officers and their families acclimate to the United States.

While Operation International is a program of the Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce, the program is not limited to residents of Leavenworth and Lansing. Soby said residents of nearby communities can serve as sponsors.

People interested in serving as sponsors can contact Soby at 913-683-9250 or chuckann70@gmail.com.

Applications will be due April 30.

Sponsors will be assigned to countries of international military students May 19. Soby said this will be the first time the selections will be made through a lottery process.

“It will be a random drawing,” she said.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR