FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Maryland --
As America’s Cryptologic Wing, Airmen at the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing are leaders and warriors in interagency and Joint Force cryptologic operations, conducting real-time signals intelligence and cybersecurity missions across the globe.
The 70th ISRW is diversifying its cryptologic language analysts (CLA) to new languages, expanding their knowledge to complete mission needs and develop Airmen who are resilient and tactically capable Joint Force cryptologic warriors.
The Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance CLA Optimization Plan established a baseline for long-term force planning to meet Air Force, combatant command, and Combat Support Agency mission requirements with a more stable and predictable CLA presentation to the joint fight.
“We need to be diverse in languages and invest in optimization languages,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Brooke, 70th Operations Support Squadron assistant director of operations. “It is important to the 70th ISRW to get in-depth in strategic [foreign] languages.”
The optimization plan saved the Air Force $2.2M in Defense Language Institute classes and permanent change of station costs. This provides CLAs with an opportunity to learn multiple languages, while maintaining proficiency within their primary career field language.
According to Brooke, “the intent behind these decisions is to bring the wing in line with National Defense Strategy priorities, including pacing challenges, and acute and persistent threats.”
“The new re-language initiative is going well, we have a good teacher, and we get plenty of time on speaking, reading, and listening to authentic materials,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Julian, 70th ISRW cryptologic language analyst. “The class is difficult, but I feel we are making great progress.”
Learning a new language can have its challenges such as conflating the new words with the previous language learned.
“There are times when the prior language will pop up instead of what we are trying to speak,” said Julian. “Another difficulty is being fluent in another language and having to deal with learning a new language all over.”
Students overcome these challenges by continuously exposing themselves to the foreign media and music provided by their course instructors. Being around the new language as much as possible reducing the probability of the other languages taking lead over their learning.
Julian’s advice for other students is, “remember how hard it was to learn your first language and to not get down on yourself if you struggle. It is a new language, and we can get used to being good at our previous language but stay positive and take it a day at a time.”