146th Airlift Wing takes training to deeper understanding with language and culture briefing
By Senior Airman Margo Allen, 146 AW
/ Published December 06, 2009
Channel Islands ANGS, Calif. -- The 146th Airlift Wing has joined forces with the Army State Readiness Reserve to offer deploying members of the Unit an important training opportunity. California State Military Reserve Army Component 2nd Lt. Johan Lai, training officer for the 146th Airlift Wing Support Unit, and Spc. Mitch Ramsey, communications NCO for the 100th Troop Command Support Unit, are teaching deploying members of the wing the basics in Arabic language and culture.
This class has been developed because of the change in modern warfare techniques. With lengthy deployments that often require members to live among locals, it is essential for personnel to be able to identify key aspects of the culture in which they are immersed in order to effectively perform their mission overseas. As combat becomes more personal, military members need to be aware of how to interact with those they are not only fighting with, but fighting to protect.
"It has been shown that as cultural understanding increases, the level of conflict decreases," emphasized Spc. Ramsey.
The course is set up to raise awareness of Arabic culture for both pre-deployment and areas of operational readiness. During the class topics such as dress, language, faith, and gender will be covered. Some of the phrases being taught are, for example, "what is your name?" and "do you need medical attention?" Most importantly, the last portion of class is spent practicing how to pronounce useful Arabic phrases and develop proper enunciation.
The Army State Readiness Reserve is currently working with the 146th to provide this training on a permanent basis so that members will be prepared for what lies ahead in future deployments. For more information on the Arabic training please contact 1st Lt. Van derHeide through the Public Affairs Office at (8050 986-7420.