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Alliances, language, and culture converge at BPACS

BPACS

Judge Patt Maney, the county judge for Okaloosa County Court of Florida, explains the U.S. justice system to Building Partnership Aviation Capacity Seminar attendees at Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.,July 19, 2016. BPACS is a two-week long event, held four times a year, which brings aviation-minded foreign military personnel together with U.S. civilians and military members to learn about aviation enterprise and security. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kentavist P. Brackin)

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --

Civilians, air advisors, operators and Airmen from various fields and backgrounds are all making their way to Florida for the Spanish Building Partnership Aviation Capacity Seminar (BPACS). The two-week course is a collaborative effort to bring aviation-minded partner nations together to work to create a shared, practical vision for the nations’ national security.

 

From the Air Force Culture and Language Center’s perspective, BPACS is an opportunity to support the Center’s vision of building a cross-culturally competent Total Force.  

 

“BPACS provides our LEAP scholars an opportunity to expand their technical expertise in terms of using their language in the aviation community while strengthening relationships with partner nations,” said Jason Scroggins, the Air Force Culture and Language Center’s Foreign Language Immersion Program Manager.

Scroggins, along with the Center’s director, and four Language Enabled Airman Program participants, are attending BPACS this month. LEAP, managed by AFCLC, consists of more than 2,800 Airmen who are deliberately sustaining their language abilities. At BPACS, the selected LEAP scholars will have the opportunity to work directly with Air Force Special Operations Command and use their Spanish speaking skills.

During the program, guest speakers and tour guides from across the Department of Defense, other government agencies, and the civilian sector will share their personal experiences in aviation enterprise and security with BPACS attendees’. Students will also participate in various classroom activities and field trips providing opportunities to learn about each other’s aviation capabilities and security challenges. Capt Benjamin Coffman is one of the LEAP participants attending BPACS this year.

 

“It is always a privilege to represent the USAF in our relationships with partner nations, and that comes with a significant responsibility--to be a good representative. Events like BPACS provide opportunities to strengthen bonds between nations. The U.S. culture may not be as relationship oriented as some of our partner nations' cultures, but it is clear from events like BPACS that our leadership understands the benefit of face-to-face training and relationship building. I saw the value of personal relationships in accomplishing international missions when I was at AFSOUTH, and I look forward to getting to know more partner nation representatives--and learning more about BPACS--during the seminar,” Coffman said.

 

BPACS's ultimate goal is to bring Partner Nation military and civilian personnel together with U.S. military and civilians to build trust and form partnerships. In the 2018 National Defense Strategy, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis emphasized the importance of building relationships, and developing a “robust constellation” of allies. By sustaining language skills, learning technical terms, and forming long-lasting partnerships, LEAP participants and the AFCLC are “Sharpening the American Military’s Competitive Edge”.