Diverse Airmen Leverage Foreign Language Skills at International Air Chiefs Conference > Air Force Reserve Command > News Article
WASHINGTON DC —
Last month, Reserve Airmen stepped out of their Air Force specialties to provide full language support at the International Air Chiefs Conference in Washington, D.C.
Air Force Chief of Staff CQ Brown, Jr. and his wife, Sharene Brown, welcomed air chiefs, spouses and staff from 49 nations during the event held September 15-18, which focused on promoting the value of air power and cooperation among global partners and allies.
“Our Total Force Airmen have helped demonstrate the importance of working closely with our allies and partners, and our desire to ensure that we are integrated by design, not only in our systems but also with our personnel” , Brown said. “I am continually impressed and proud of the vast capabilities and dedication of our reserve forces.
To welcome international guests and help them feel comfortable during the conference, Lt. Col. Jill Cameron, project manager for this year’s conference, came up with the idea of leveraging reservists to provide expertise in foreign languages and protocol support.
“As an Augmented Individual Mobilization, I know we have an extraordinary number of bilingual and multilingual Airmen in the Air Force Reserve,” Cameron said. “In May, we sent out a request for IMAs proficient in foreign languages to support the event, and we were amazed by the response from various talented reservists who were thrilled to help.”
During the event, a total of 12 foreign languages were represented by 11 IMA, active guard reserve and traditional reservists: Aklanon, Arabic, German, Hausa, Ilonggo, Indonesian, Italian, Malay, Polish, Spanish, Tagalog and Yoruba . Cameron said they were crucial not only to help visitors feel welcome, but also to continually build relationships and trust with vital partners.
The event, which also celebrated the 75th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force, included a military tattoo, signs and presentations, a formal dinner and an air show at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. The reservists were able to meet with the air chiefs, spouses and staffs at the various events, which contributed to the success of the conference.
“The IACC provided a unique opportunity to engage directly with our allies and partners,” said Major Justin Mastrangelo, a foreign area reserve officer who speaks Italian and is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “Even having a small role in this event allowed me to use many years of experience and training to support our mission and fostered opportunities to discuss current issues and the solutions facing our air forces. are confronted.”
Cameron, who is completing a year of active command with the Secretary of the Air Force-Chief of Staff of the Air Force Strategic Execution Group, hopes reservists will continue to support similar events in the future, pulling leveraged their Air Force specialties, language skills and more.
“Not only were the air chiefs grateful for the language abilities of our airmen, but the reservists enjoyed the experience as well,” Cameron said. “Bringing people together and building relationships, strengthening alliances and experimenting with new ideas were some of the main goals of this event, and it happened at every level.”
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