Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Speaking, reading and understanding foreign languages

By Robb Lingley | 21st Space Wing Public Affairs

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The Air Force’s Language Enabled Airman Program at Peterson Air Force Base helps increase Airman’s cross-cultural competency to meet the Air Force’s global mission requirements.

LEAP, founded in 2009, is a career-spanning program that identifies, selects, educates and trains Airmen who can speak, read and understand foreign languages, to accomplish specific Air Force and Department of Defense missions.

“LEAP meetings happen monthly at The Club,” said Staff Sgt. Gopal Pudasaini, 21st Medical Operations Squadron aerospace medicine technician. “We help Airmen develop their language skills through training and temporary duty assignments.”

LEAP’s objective is to have cross-culturally competent leaders across the Air Force with a working level foreign language proficiency that can meet Air Force global mission requirements.

“Our mission for LEAP is to educate Airmen about language related opportunities in the Air Force while providing an open forum for them to share their cross-cultural work experiences and connect with people from various cultures and language backgrounds,” said Pudasaini. “Our vision is to foster cross-cultural competency to meet Air Force global mission requirements.”

Participants in LEAP are required to complete online training, eMentor courses, and attend periodic language intensive training events.

Successful completion of program requirements will result in the participant being eligible for the LEAP Special Experience Identifier, which could give them special consideration for foreign language proficiency pay and other language-related opportunities in the Air Force.

According to the Air Force Culture and Language Center participation in LEAP is voluntary and available for active duty officer and enlisted Airmen in most Air Force Specialty Codes. To become a LEAP scholar, Airmen must demonstrate some level of proficiency in a foreign language specified on the Air Force strategic language list, receive endorsement from their unit commander, and compete via a board process.

“Once accepted into LEAP there is an Air Force culture and language center website that Airmen can visit,” said Pudasaini. “They can find information to further enhance their language skills through online classes.”

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

Speaking, reading and understanding foreign languages
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