The Air Force Culture and Language Center (AFCLC) was founded at Air University in April 2006, embracing the Air Force Chief of Staff's intention to improve Airmen's cross-cultural competence. In April 2007, the Air Force further demonstrated its commitment to culture learning by selecting cross-cultural competence as the centerpiece of Air University's re-accreditation efforts.

In December 2007, the Center was made responsible for culture and language training, as well as education, across the entire Air Force. In October 2009, the Air Force Senior Language Authority directed AFCLC to initiate the Language Enabled Airman Program (LEAP), a career-spanning program to develop a cadre of Airmen across all specialties with working-level foreign language proficiency.

AFCLC's efforts are guided by Air Force Policy Directive 36-40 and Air Force Instruction 36-4005, as well as numerous Joint guidance documents.

DoD Vision
The Department will have the required combination of language skills, regional expertise and cultural capabilities to meet current and projected needs.


AFCLC Mission
Language, regional expertise, and culture education to enhance interoperability and build partner capacity across the spectrum of military operations.


AFCLC Vision
The Air Force Culture and Language Center will lead the U.S. Air Force in building a cross-culturally competent Total Force to meet the demands of the Service's dynamic global mission.


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our leadership

Walter H. Ward - Director

Mr. Walter H. (Howard) Ward, Jr. is the Director of the Air Force Culture and Language Center (AFCLC) at Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL. The AFCLC is a team of 50 military, federal civilian, and contract personnel that support the application of airpower by enabling seamless operation with many air forces using culture, regional expertise, and language education and training. The AFCLC develops officer and enlisted Airmen proficient in language, culture and negotiation competencies covering 95 languages through the Language Enabled Airman Program (LEAP). The AFCLC also reaches over 210,000 Airmen per year through online training, Community College of the Air Force-accredited courses, officer professional military education, General Officer pre-deployment training, media operations, and expeditionary culture field guides. Mr. Ward is a retired colonel and Master Navigator with over 4,400 hrs in KC-135A/R/RT, C-130E/H1/H2/H3/J. His most recent operational assignment was Commander, 317th Airlift Group, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. He commanded six squadrons, consisting of 1,200 aviators, maintenance professionals and support personnel, and 28 C-130J aircraft engaged in worldwide combat aerial delivery operations.

Gregory Day - Director of Staff/Deputy Director

Mr. Gregory Day is the Director of Staff and Deputy Director of the AFCLC. He has also served as the Chief of the Culture Branch at the AFCLC. Mr. Day retired from the Air Force after 27 years of service as a First Sergeant, PME Commandant, Military Training Leader and Linguist. He holds a M.S. in Education from California State University, East Bay and a M.S. in Leadership and Management from Liberty University. Mr. Day's current activities include administrative and operational oversight of internal processes, curriculum development for all levels of PME and PCE, and assisting the Director with mission development.

our staff

Chris Chesser - Chief, Language Division

Mr. Chris Chesser is the Language Distance Learning Chief. Mr. Chesser provides leadership, policy direction, and oversight for the Language Enabled Airman Program (LEAP) which focuses on building language, regional expertise, and cultural capabilities for the general purpose force. Mr. Chesser provides management and oversight of eMentor, the Center’s premier online language learning program.

Olin Goodhue - Chief, Education Support Division

Mr. Olin Goodhue is Chief of the AFCLC's Education Support Division. Mr. Goodhue is a retired Air Force officer who served as a rated aircrew member, flight instructor, subject matter expert, curriculum developer, budget planner/programmer and contingency planner. He holds a M.S. in General Administration from Central Michigan University. Mr. Goodhue's activities include operational oversight of Education Management Systems, Course Administration, Assessments, and Outreach.

Mary Newbern - Chief, Expeditionary Readiness Training Programs

Ms. Mary Newbern, Lt Col (Ret) USAF, is Chief of Expeditionary Readiness Training Programs within AFCLC's Region and Culture Division. Her job duties include researching, designing, developing, and managing courseware production and delivery activities for professional military education and expeditionary skills training venues. Ms. Newbern serves as Program Manager and editor-in-chief for the Air Force's Expeditionary Culture Field Guide (ECFG) development activities. She completed a 28-year active-duty career with the Air Force prior to assuming her current position. Hallmark positions included Commander, 31st Services Squadron and Executive officer, 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano AB Italy; Chief of Intelligence, 86th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ramstein AB Germany; 86th Support Group and 86th Operations Group Executive Officer, 86th Fighter Wing, Ramstein AB Germany; and Intelligence Systems Program Manager, HQ USSOUTHCOM, Quarry Heights, Panama. Ms. Newbern was a career intelligence officer specializing in photographic reconnaissance. She holds a B.A. in English and Journalism, a M.A. in Human Resources Development, and a Graduate Certificate as an Instructional Systems Specialist.

Keith J. McCabe - Language Intensive Training Event Program Manager

Mr. Keith McCabe is the Center’s Language Intensive Training Event (LITE) Program Manager. Mr. McCabe leads a multi-functional team overseeing 700 training immersions per year to include language schools, home stay experience, Security Cooperation Office Internships, and language support to Higher Headquarters exercise and operations. In addition, Mr. McCabe also manages the LEAP Scholar oversight for the Advanced Special Emphasis (ASE) program. Finally, Mr. McCabe also manages over 200 Virtual LITE (vLITE) per year.

Gloria Milner - Program Manager, eMentor Language Training

Ms. Gloria is the Center’s eMentor Language Training Program Manager. Ms. Milner leads a multi-functional team overseeing over 1,100 training events per year. eMentor is an online languageprogram that connects LEAP scholars anywhere in the world synchronously with native language instructors, at times convenient for each scholar’s schedule. eMentor lesson content is infused with topics culturally relevant to regions where Airmen and/or Space Force Professionals may be expected to operate seamlessly with air and space forces and populations around the world. Courses enablescholars to not only develop language skills but also apply skills in an operational environment.

Our Faculty

Associate Professor of Regional and Cultural Studies (Middle East North Africa)


Dr. Scott Edmondson

Assistant Professor of Regional and Cultural Studies (Africa)

Dr. Scott M. Edmondson is Assistant Professor of Regional and Cultural Studies (Africa) at the AFCLC. He holds a Ph.D. in Culture and Performance from the University of California, Los Angeles, with over eight years of teaching experience in both university (UCLA, Univ. of Michigan) and military settings (USAJFKSWCS, Air University). A former Peace Corps Volunteer in Cote d’Ivoire and Fulbright-Hays Fellow in Ghana, Dr. Edmondson has conducted ethnographic field research in West Africa on popular media production and religious movements, and has worked as a sociocultural intelligence analyst for the 4MISG/US Army Special Operations Command and USAFRICOM. His teaching and research interests include: African religious, media, and security studies; globalization and postcolonial theory; historiography and ethnography; semiotics and narrative analysis; military cross-cultural competence; youth cultures, social media, and radicalization; and cultural property protection/heritage, identity, and conflict.

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Dr. Patricia Fogarty

Assistant Professor of Cross-Cultural Relations



Dr. Jessica Jordan

Assistant Professor of Regional and Cultural Studies (Asia)



Dr. Susan Steen is Associate Professor of Cross-Cultural Communication at the Air Force Culture and Language Center. She earned her Ph.D. in Communication from The University of Southern Mississippi in 2007 and held a variety of leadership positions in the field of international education prior to joining AFCLC in 2015. She has traveled widely throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia presenting on topics related to international education and intercultural competence. Dr. Steen’s scholarship involves intercultural, interpersonal, and organizational communication. She uses a communication perspective to examine ways individuals and groups can connect across cultural divides, build resilient communities, and enact inclusion and agility.  Her research interests include Coordinated Management of Meaning Theory, Cosmopolitan Communication, Resilience, Moral Conflict, Moral Injury, and Intercultural Conflict.  Most recently, her work has focused on the use of Cosmopolitan Communication in bridging conflict, strengthening resilience in individuals, communities and organizations; and promoting intercultural effectiveness.  She serves on the international board of the CMM Institute, which is dedicated to advancing communication as a powerful force in creating community, positive relationships, healthy organizations, and mature civic processes.   

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Our Partners

The U.S. Air Force has an enterprise approach to culture and language that involves Headquarters Air Force, Major Commands, direct reporting units and field operating agencies. The Air Force Culture and Language center supports these organizations under the leadership of the Air Force Language, Region and Culture program office. Other stakeholders are found throughout the Air Force, Department of Defense and internationally.

Our Key LREC Guidance Documents


 Strategy Defense Language Transformation Roadmap

DoD LREC Strategic Plan
Culture, Region, and Language Flight Plan

Global Partnership Strategy
USAF GPF LREC Learning Strategy
 Policy DoDD 5160.41E, Defense Language Program

CJCSI 3126.01A, Language, Regional Expertise and Culture Capability Identification, Planning and Sourcing
AFPD 36-40, Culture, Region and Language Program N/A
 Regulation DoDI 5160.70, Management of DoD Language and Regional Proficiency

DoDI 5160.71, DoD Language Testing Program

DoDI 1340.27, Military Foreign Language Skill Proficiency Bonuses
AFI 36-4005, Total Force Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture Program
AETC Supplement to AFI 36-4001, Culture, Regional Expertise and Language Program
 Plan  DoD LREC Implementation Plan  USAF LREC Strategic Plan  USAF GPF LREC Learning Master Plan

551 E. Maxwell Blvd, Bldg 500, Maxwell AFB, AL 36112




Contact US

Air Force Culture and Language Center

551 East Maxwell Blvd, Bldg 500
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112


General Inquiries

Commercial Phone: 334-953-7729
Fax: 334-953-1614