RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AFNEWS) --
The German Civilian Security Police, also known as ZPs, are an invaluable asset in making sure things run smoothly here. With the high deployment rate of their military counterparts, the ZPs have stepped up to make sure there are no gaps in safeguarding security.
They are fully integrated into the flights, working side by side, and in some cases, training Airmen.
"They actually end up pulling a lot of extra weight, pulling a lot of extra duties, sometimes extra hours, and it's really hard on them," said Senior Airman Shyla Schultz, a response leader with the 435th Security Forces Squadron. "But they make these sacrifices just because we're out there making sacrifices, and fighting for what we believe in."
And with more than 3,000 non-U.S. citizens working in the Kaiserslautern Military Community, the ZPs help with the language barrier, which is why Airman Schultz said she feels the ZP program is so beneficial.
"With all of the contractors on base, half of them don't speak English. (The ZPs) act as fantastic liaisons between the German community and ourselves," she said.
The ZP civilian security police commander for the 435th Mission Support Group, Lt. Col. Georg Jochum, said he's proud of his people and happy to work with the Americans.
"It's a partnership," he said. "You have to work together, do the best for the unit, because you guys are paying the price, and we've got to make sure we do the best for the U.S."
He also says it's a good sign that some of his younger ZPs really enjoy working here.
"It's not a one-way street where the Americans demand this and this and that," Colonel Jochum said. "There's a give and take on both sides."
In addition to them pulling extra weight now, the German ZPs trained approximately 15,500 German soldiers between 2002 and 2006 when the Bundeswehr worked the gates at Ramstein.
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