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End Of An Era For Army's Education Centres in Germany

41 AEC in Paderborn has run its final compulsory military training courses.

The centre will continue to offer some non-essential classes to the forces community until it closes at the end of June.

As the Army’s last major units in Germany prepare to leave this summer, the only remaining Army Education Centre has run its final compulsory military training courses.

41 Army Education Centre in Paderborn is the last in a long line of British Army education establishments that have been in Germany since 1945.

 

41 AEC has offered all that any centre in the UK can provide including resettlement advice.
41 AEC has offered all that any centre in the UK can provide including resettlement advice.

At the centre a Command Leadership and Management Course is underway.

Newly promoted soldiers, like Corporal Lloyd Fabri, learn skills that are essential in a higher rank.

“We had an assessment today on defence writing – basically write out an admin instruction on Microsoft Word to deliver like sort of a set of orders for subordinates and other ranks.”

So as Britain’s last Armoured Brigade in Germany leaves this summer, the centre close.

Major Caroline Constantine is Officer Commanding 41 Army Education Centre.
Major Caroline Constantine is Officer Commanding 41 Army Education Centre.

Major Caroline Constantine said: 

“For a number of years now the Education Centres that have been scattered throughout Germany have been closing down one by one and sort of folding into 41 AEC so yes we are right at the end now of education in Germany.”

The training at the 41AEC help soldiers with their confidence to instruct each other.

 

The centre has both taught and employed the husbands and wives of soldiers.
The centre has both taught and employed the husbands and wives of soldiers.

Lieutenant Sam Smith is the Learning Development Officer.  

“It is mad to think that hundreds of learning development officers would have been through this centre if not other centres in and around Germany and taught thousands of soldiers if not hundreds of thousands of soldiers over that period of seventy years.”   

Corporal Alex Fidler of 216 Signal Squadron said: 

“Quite honoured in a way. It’s nice to be part of something.

"I can look back and say I was on the last course at that so it’s quite good.”

Education Centre Paderborn artwork

41 AEC offered similar support to soldiers as the centre's based in the UK.

The only real difference being that the centre based in Paderborn had an obvious emphasis on language teaching and it also taught and employed the husbands and wives of soldiers.

 

Major Caroline Constantine noted:

“Here our staff are also our community – they are also our friends and so they are helping the military and the civil servants deliver education for their own friends or their husbands and wives’ friends so there’s a much closer relationship I think with the staff in this situation in Germany.”

This is not quite the end for the last Education Centre in Germany.

Courses intended mainly for military families will continue until the end of June.

That’s when Army Education staff who have served in Germany come back for a reunion.