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An opportunity for multilingual Airmen

Students from partner nations work together in a joint exercise at the Inter European Air Forces Academy. The Air Force Culture and Language Center seeks to form a corps of general purpose Airmen to take on missions around the world through its Language Enabled Airman Program. (Courtesy photo, AFCLC)

Students from partner nations work together in a joint exercise at the Inter European Air Forces Academy. The Air Force Culture and Language Center seeks to form a corps of general purpose Airmen to take on missions around the world through its Language Enabled Airman Program. (Courtesy photo by Air Force Culture and Language Center)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AFNS) -- Do you know one or more foreign languages? You may be eligible for the Language Enabled Airman Program.

The Air Force Culture and Language Center is forming a corps of multilingual Airmen to take on missions around the world, and recently released a memorandum detailing the 2018 LEAP recruitment process.

This year’s application window for active duty enlisted and officer Airmen began on March 20, 2018, and will continue until June 16. Applicants must have at least 48 months time-in-service.

LEAP centers around the concept of specially-identified multilingual Airmen who go on missions every few years to serve as translators and sharpen their foreign language skills. The program’s objective is to produce cross-culturally competent leaders from all Air Force career fields to support missions around the world, said Lt. Col. Laura Hunt, AFCLC LEAP Language Intensive Training Events program manager.

“LEAP Airmen serve as ambassadors of the U.S. Air Force,” she said. “They go through special training and obtain a special experience indicator. If somebody has that SEI, I can be confident that if I send them out they will successfully accomplish their mission. They are trained, vetted, and competent in their language and culture.”

LEAP Airmen develop their skills through training, mentorship programs and temporary duty assignments.

Hunt added that LEAP temporary duties vary widely, and can include humanitarian missions, training exercises, cultural immersion programs and professional military education.

An Airman’s journey through the LEAP application process begins with the defense language proficiency test. As of 2018, there are more than 30 languages an Airman can test in.

Hunt encouraged potential applicants not to worry about scoring high on the tests, because the objective of LEAP is to mentor, improve and develop Airmen in their language skills.

“If you speak more than one language, test in every one you can,” she said. “Take as many DLPTs as you can and don’t worry about the scores. Just show us you have an aptitude for language.”

Applicants may also take an Oral Proficiency Interview in case a DLPT is unavailable. Those who wish to schedule a DLPT or OPI must contact their local education office.

For more information about LEAP, visit the Air Force Culture and Language Center website at http://culture.af.mil/leap/index.html

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