HomeNewsArticle Display

NATO chaplains integrate ideas for better chaplain care

Col. (Rabbi) Menachem Sebbag (left), the Netherlands armed forces chief of Jewish chaplains, speaks with Rick Deppe, the Airmen Ministries coordinator for Club 7, during the NATO Allied Air Force Chaplains Consultative Committee Conference at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 16, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Caleb Pierce)

Col. (Rabbi) Menachem Sebbag (left), the Netherlands armed forces chief of Jewish chaplains, speaks with Rick Deppe, the Airmen Ministries coordinator for Club 7, during the NATO Allied Air Force Chaplains Consultative Committee Conference at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 16, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Caleb Pierce)

Rick Deppe (right), the Airmen Ministries coordinator for Club 7, briefs Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Cecil R. Richardson and other NATO chaplains June 16, 2011, during the NATO Allied Air Force Chaplains Consultative Committee Conference at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Chaplain Richardson is the U.S. Air Force chief of chaplains. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Caleb Pierce)

Rick Deppe (right), the Airmen Ministries coordinator for Club 7, briefs Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Cecil R. Richardson and other NATO chaplains June 16, 2011, during the NATO Allied Air Force Chaplains Consultative Committee Conference at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Chaplain Richardson is the U.S. Air Force chief of chaplains. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Caleb Pierce)

Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Cecil R. Richardson and other NATO chaplains listen to a briefing June 16, 2011, during the NATO Allied Air Force Chaplains Consultative Committee Conference at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Chaplain Richardson is the U.S. Air Force chief of chaplains. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Caleb Pierce)

Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Cecil R. Richardson and other NATO chaplains listen to a briefing June 16, 2011, during the NATO Allied Air Force Chaplains Consultative Committee Conference at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Chaplain Richardson is the U.S. Air Force chief of chaplains. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Caleb Pierce)

Chaplain (Capt.) Christopher Conklin briefs Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Cecil R. Richardson and other NATO chaplains June 16, 2011, during the NATO Allied Air Force Chaplains Consultative Committee Conference at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Chaplain Conklin is the 86th Airlift Wing Deployment Transition Center chaplain. Chaplain Richardson is the U.S. Air Force chief of chaplains. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Caleb Pierce)

Chaplain (Capt.) Christopher Conklin briefs Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Cecil R. Richardson and other NATO chaplains June 16, 2011, during the NATO Allied Air Force Chaplains Consultative Committee Conference at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Chaplain Conklin is the 86th Airlift Wing Deployment Transition Center chaplain. Chaplain Richardson is the U.S. Air Force chief of chaplains. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Caleb Pierce)

Chaplain (Capt.) Kraig Kroeker briefs Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Cecil R. Richardson and other NATO chaplains June 16, 2011, during the NATO Allied Air Force Chaplains Consultative Committee Conference at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 16, 2011. Chaplain Kroeker is the 86th Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility chaplain. Chaplain Richardson is the U.S. Air Force chief of chaplains. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Caleb Pierce)

Chaplain (Capt.) Kraig Kroeker briefs Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Cecil R. Richardson and other NATO chaplains June 16, 2011, during the NATO Allied Air Force Chaplains Consultative Committee Conference at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 16, 2011. Chaplain Kroeker is the 86th Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility chaplain. Chaplain Richardson is the U.S. Air Force chief of chaplains. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Caleb Pierce)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AFNS) -- Chaplains from nine NATO countries met here June 13 through 16 to discuss the best way to care for chaplains returning from the theater of operations.

The idea is called "Care for the Caregivers," and it allows chaplains returning from a theater deployment to head out on retreat to decompress and recharge their spiritual resiliency.

"In deployed environments, chaplains and chaplains' assistants get exposed to unique challenges brought on them from service members looking for guidance," said Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Cecil R. Richardson, the Air Force's chief of chaplains. "Over time, this weight continues to load on the shoulders of our chaplains."

This meeting marked the 60th anniversary of the NATO Allied Air Force Chaplains Consultative Committee Conference. The committee is dedicated to sharing ideas, tools and varied approaches to keep their respective chaplain corps spiritually strong.

Chaplain (Royal Air Force Venerable Air Vice-Marshal) Ray Pentland said, "It's about learning best practices and being together with people who do similar tasks."

Chaplain Pentland explained how their chaplains and chaplains' assistants have a similar retreat RAF Chaplains attend to meet the same needs "Care for Caregivers" is meant to address.

"Our chaplains go on a peaceful and quiet retreat in the middle of England, but we use retired chaplains to take the chain of command out of the picture but still understand the language and the culture," he said.

"It's important to get together because we have so much in common, we are all doing the same things and although we might have ... a different approach to ministry, the bottom line is to remind people how very important it is to be spiritually fit," Chaplain Richardson said.

Rabbi (Col.) Menachem Sebbag, the AAFCCC president and Netherlands armed forces chief of Jewish Chaplains, said the tour and conference has been inspirational.

"It is very inspirational to meet with the colleagues that are working the same problems that (members of the Netherlands armed forces) face," Rabbi Menachem said. "The main thing is to be able to take it back, see what I can implement from what I've learned to help my people and to help the chaplains in (the Netherlands) armed forces."

In addition to the conference, the chaplains took the opportunity to visit organizations throughout the base. Club 7, a place for Airmen to congregate and interact in a relaxed atmosphere, was one of the first on their list.

"I was a two-striper the first time I even walked into a church; the ministry of the chaplain significantly impacted my life, I will never forget that," Chaplain Richardson said. "I will never tire of being with my Airmen, praying for our Airmen and being a chaplain for our Airmen."

The chaplains all agreed this conference was a great way for them to work together and share experiences.

The chaplains also made a stop off at the Fisher House, the deployment transition center and the contingency aeromedical staging facility to round out the conference.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
.@RAFMildenhall #KC135 crew strengthened relationship with Romanian #AirForce through air refueling training. For m… https://t.co/8dGvm2HQwC
RT @SecAFOfficial: Mother nature can’t beat the 55th Wing! We will recover @Offutt_AFB from the devastating flood. Amazing American 🇺🇸 spir…
Today the #AirForce announced a new Infrastructure Investment Strategy following a yearlong review that brings a ne… https://t.co/i1yDRQkaPl
RT @Offutt_AFB: As the water has begun to recede, Team Offutt is in full recovery mode. https://t.co/6QPZ96UNZY
RT @SecAFOfficial: Thanks to Iowa leaders who just signed a bill to recognize out of state licenses for our military spouses! @SenJoniErnst
RT @SecAFOfficial: This will make a difference on our bases for decades to come...getting more out of every dollar we spend on #infrastruct
See how our aircraft maintainers keep our #F15s safe and mission ready! @142ndFW https://t.co/H6CrSoCCIg
RT @NASA: During today's spacewalk, we'll be taking questions about our @NASA_Astronauts' excursion outside of the @Space_Station. Ask ques…
RT @US_Stratcom: Global #StrategicDeterrence! Integrating #B52s from @US_EUCOM & @INDOPACOM to conduct simultaneous theater familiarization…
The #KC135 Stratotanker nose art "Black Jack" dates back to the #BloodyHundredth's battle-hardened days of… https://t.co/43zMmRWnsP
Whether our aircraft are taking off, landing or in need of assistance, air traffic controller #Airmen are active ye… https://t.co/eBlrhUI7mQ
#WeCanDoIt! The #USAF wishes a #HappyBirthday to one of the original “Rosie the Riveters,” Ms. Mae Krier, who turne… https://t.co/n24xC5NClI
RT @Offutt_AFB: A 1,000 yr flood wasn’t enough to stop our professionals from the flying mission. Projecting global combat airpower is neve…
Are you fueled for the day? #USAF #F15E Strike Eagle refuels from a 908th Expeditionary Aerial Refueling Squadron… https://t.co/SXIXjZa8pd
The #AFIT kicked off its #centennial anniversary celebration, recognizing how the men and women who study at AFIT t… https://t.co/S8x9Qn6GH3
380th Air Expeditionary Wing #logistics planners provide the magic behind movements to ensure all cargo & #Airmen a… https://t.co/cNjTcMWNcX
The #AirForce have been pioneers in uncontested space, maintaining the world's most cutting-edge lethal force for o… https://t.co/JqWLA93gqO
.@RAFMildenhall flew a #KC135 Stratotanker to Romania on Mar. 10, 2019 to conduct air refueling training with the R… https://t.co/CD0VLgBNuv
RT @DeptofDefense: What drives some of the most fearless and talented pilots in today’s @USAirForce? Check out our Q&A with pilot Capt. Mic…