sfor-logo.gif (7931 bytes)   sforonline.jpg (10701 bytes)

newhome.GIF (1414 bytes)

newindex.GIF (2366 bytes)

newlinks.GIF (2138 bytes)



An exchange for the future

by JOC(AW) Tony Joseph

First published in the SFOR Informer #15, July 23, 1997

Photo 1T.JPG (9236 bytes)Split - An Italian and an American on service in Split, Croatia. Not with each other, and not their own nation. Lt. Franco Ottaviani of Italy and SFC Larry Yeley of the United States Army are participants in the Personnel Exchange Programme (PEP) that each of their countries have with the United Kingdom.

Ottaviani, an Italian Navy pilot, serves with the 845 Naval Air Squadron, B Flight, at Divulje Barracks, Split. He was selected for the programme and began work with the UK Royal Navy just over a year ago. Ottaviani will serve in Split for approximately eight weeks before moving on to another mission.

Commenting on PEP, Ottaviani said, "this has been a very good experience for me. There is a lot to learn and I am sure that the experiences I am gaining will benefit me in life and in my military career."

Photo 2T.JPG (8729 bytes)Yeley leads the Split Airport Unit’s Air Transport Liaison Office. He’s the bridge between Passenger Movement/Control and the UK Air Force. "We handle passenger problems that might arise in the course of travelling, or trying to travel," said Yeley. He added, "we can ensure that you get answers to your questions, good or bad. Our assistance extends from bookings to helping people with the various categories of compassionate travel regulations."

Like Ottaviani, Yeley was selected for PEP. He did not apply. That is not how the programme works. He did accept, however, and "I’m glad I did. PEP involves some of the most rigorous training I have ever encountered."

Yeley continued, "as part of the programme I am completely a part of the British system. I go where they go, I do what they do, and I get paid what they get paid. There’s no extra monetary incentive for me to be a part of this." But, he added, smiling, "I am having a great time. My wife and I are glad to be part of PEP, although I’ve been deployed more than we thought when we accepted. This has been the greatest experience, and I would recommend anyone facing the decision to participate that they should."

The pilot and the soldier did not go into the programme blindly. Previous PEP participants list pros and cons as part of a point paper type report that passes to those being considered for the next open spots. In the eyes of the current PEP players from Italy and the United States, the programme is well worth the time and effort.

[Italian soldier]

[US soldier]

[The work of SFOR]