Culture, language, an integral part of the Air Force mission

Maxwell AFB

The Air Force Culture and Language Center’s mission is to educate Airmen of all ranks about language and culture. The purpose of creating the AFCLC was to create a widespread cross-culture competent Air Force, to ensure Airmen have a basic understanding of the culture when they deploy or go on temporary duty assignments in a different country. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Senior Airman Tammie Ramsouer)

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --

Airmen are deploying across the globe, and some without any knowledge of their destination. Specialists with the Air Force Culture and Language Center here are working to change that.

Their mission is to end that cycle of not knowing. They make it their priority to teach Airmen of all ranks what they need to know before going off into the unknown.

“When AFCLC was [established] in 2007, the intent was to create more cross culture competent Airmen across the Air Force,” said Gregory Day, AFCLC director of staff. “There’s no better place to start than Maxwell, because nearly everyone in the Air Force comes here at some point in their career for added military education.”

The idea was to implement these programs inside the Professional Military Education schools as a way to build cross-cultural Airmen over time.

As one of their priorities, the AFCLC offers general culture training, where they instill a basic understanding of culture in areas to which Airmen are deploying.

Their services don’t end there. They also partner with the Defense Language Institute, which has five DLI personnel teaching elective language courses to officers.

The language courses offered in the officer PME schools are German, French, Chinese and Spanish. In addition to the language elective courses, the AFCLC has expeditionary skills training.

“We offer language, region and culture curriculum education and training across the spectrum and a continuum of learning across Maxwell,” Day said. “Every Airman who leaves Maxwell should know something about the cultural foundations of our world.”

For more information about the AFCLC, visit their website at http://culture.af.mil/index.html.