A life between paperwork, satellites and firearms

By Bill WirtzLex Kleren

In this report about Luxembourg’s army base Härebierg we take a look at the professional diversity of the military. Five people with very different responsibilities and backgrounds telling their stories.

The strength of the Luxembourgish army is represented by over 1,000 soldiers. Behind the appearance of the uniforms and guns is a machinery of very diverse jobs that need sophisticated logistical organisation. We asked five different people, both civilian and military, about their jobs and personal stories. Looking behind the scenes of Härebierg, we found out that they are looking to hire a tailor and why knocking loudly at the door is an exercise in direct communication.

Managing the force

Lieutenant-Colonel David Lesch is in charge of human resources, mainly managing and recruiting military personnel. The human resource department at Härebierg is vast, given the multitude of different military and civilian departments. "We need to recruit according to the army’s vision for the future. We are part of international agreements that demand that we evolve. Initially, we did simple reconnaissance missions in Kosovo; now, we are a three-dimensional army with a satellite, one that has a plane, one that is active in the domain of Communications and Information Services, one that has drones etc. For that, we need people, specialists and soldiers", elaborates Lesch. He emphasises how short training periods for soldiers are in practice: a civilian who never dealt with firearms or heavy vehicles faces the challenge of learning to handle an automatic rifle or drive a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected tactical vehicle that weighs an average of ten tonnes in just 36 months.

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