Free field guide app helping thousands of deployed service members around the world

The free app is available for Android and iPhone devices.

The Wall Street Journal recently recognized the Air Force Culture and Language Center’s mobile Expeditionary Culture Field Guide as being one of six ‘must-have’ apps for business travelers. The free app is available for Android and iPhone devices. (Courtesy photo)

A 30-second video demonstrating the general appearance and capabilities of the Air Force Culture and Language Center's (AFCLC) new mobile app, designed to make the Center's full collection of culture field guides available to Airmen using the Apple and Android operating systems.


The assortment of booklets are as diverse as the service members who use them. Japan, Afghanistan, Turkey, Senegal just a few of the countries in the Air Force Culture and Language Center’s growing library of expeditionary culture field guides.  As U.S. Air Force Captain Patrick Milott glanced over the table filled with the colorful pamphlets, he recalled the time he relied on AFCLC’s free source.

“I used your Afghanistan Expeditionary Culture Field guide while in country,” Capt Milott said, “they were very useful as a {Judge Advocate} officer in a foreign environment”.

Milott is just one of thousands of service members taking advantage of AFCLC’s resources. The Center’s pocket-sized handbooks encompass the 12 cultural domains and provide invaluable information—including general regional/cultural knowledge, military and diplomatic history, and language tips. AFCLC’s team of in-house experts partner with social scientists and historians across the world to make sure the field guides are accurate and up-to-date. Each year, new countries are added to meet the Air Force’s mission requirements.

“They are uniquely tailored to bring any branch’s men and women into culture while they are immersed in it. We are always excited to continue to produce regional expertise training and education products to our Air Force,” said Howard Ward, the Air Force Culture and Language Center’s Director.

Along with the traditional guides, personnel at the Air Force Culture and Language Center at Air University have developed an app that puts culture and language tips in your pocket. The free technology is available to anyone with an iPhone or Android. To date, more than 10,000 service members around the world have downloaded AFCLC’s app.

“It was designed to work without WiFi,” Ward said, “just search ‘AFCLC’ in the app store and it will download the field guides to your phone”

Currently, the field guides cover more than 40 African, Pacific, European, Middle Eastern countries and there are more in queue. Deploying commands, training units, and simply interested individuals from around the Department of Defense can make requests to the Center’s afclc.region@us.af.mil organizational box to place orders for hard copies of the guides.

“We have had requests for as little as a single book to 72,000 guides in a single order to 5th AF in Japan,” said Mary Newbern, who manages and develops distribution of the guides, “I would expect interest to boom with these latest additions, especially with no end in sight, and future country editions on the horizon.”