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LEAP Spotlight: Capt Viktor Belov

Capt Viktor Belov

Photo Courtesy of Capt Viktor Belov

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --

Capt Viktor Belov has been a Russian LEAP scholar since he was a 2d Lt. As a LEAP scholar, he increased his language proficiency through Language Intensive Training Events (LITEs) in Latvia and Ukraine as well as online language training through eMentor. He was picked up as a Foreign Area Officer (FAO) in 2018 and invited to attend the Army FAO school at the George C. Marshall Center (GCMC) in Garmish, Germany, where he became one of the first Air Force FAOs to attend this school instead of the Naval Post-Graduate School in Monterey, CA. After completing his master’s degree in International Relations at GCMC, Capt Belov spent six months in language immersions and strategic engagements as part of his FAO In-Region Training (IRT). He completed his Russian language immersions in Baku, Azerbaijan, and Riga, Latvia, where he honed his language skills and experienced a variety of cultural, political, and socioeconomic situations.

For the strategic engagement portions of his IRT, he went to the Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) in Vilnius, Lithuania, and Tbilisi, Georgia. In Lithuania, his daily responsibilities included supporting and coordinating high-level distinguished visitor visits in the region and conducting military site visits of Lithuanian military bases.

 

“[Lithuania] was my first experience working in a joint environment together with the US Army and our NATO allies in planning and coordinating logistics and ground exercises. Overall, I had a great learning experience in Lithuania and would recommend continuing to send Air Force FAOs to Lithuania for training purposes.”

 

After completing his IRT, Capt Belov received his first FAO assignment as the ODC Chief for Slovenia. Reflecting on his IRT, Capt Belov stated, “I consider myself very blessed and fortunate to have traveled and worked in these countries. I have gained a good understanding of political, economic, and social problems in different global regions that I feel have prepared me well for my first FAO assignment and have broadened my understanding of our foreign counterparts.” 

 

- Capt Viktor Belov-