Several Speakers Confirmed for Virtual AU LREC Symposium


This year, the Air Force Culture and Language Center (AFCLC) at Air University is gearing up to host its Fifth Annual Air University Language, Regional Expertise and Culture Symposium (AU LREC). For the first time, the symposium will be a virtual event, and several amazing speakers from around the world are preparing to join us online. From 14-16 October, panelists will all expand on the theme “Hindsight 2020” and how the past has shaped our future.

Speakers for this year’s event include:

Dr. Laurie Rush



Anthropologist/archaeologist Dr. Laurie Rush confirmed she will join us virtually as a featured speaker at the Air Force Culture and Language Center (AFCLC) and Air University’s Fifth Annual Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture (AU LREC) Symposium.

In keeping with this year’s Symposium theme, “Hindsight 2020”, during a virtual presentation Dr. Rush will give her perspective on the changing approaches to cultural property and heritage protection (CPP) for the U.S. military and how she sees CPP efforts developing in the future.  Throughout her career, Dr. Rush has led US efforts to improve cultural property and heritage protection both internationally and locally, in both military and civilian institutions.  

As editor of “Archaeology, Cultural Property, and the Military,” co-author of “The Carabinieri TPC; Saving the World’s Heritage,” and author of numerous articles and book chapters, Dr. Rush is internationally recognized as a specialist concerning the importance of military education and operations planning for cultural property protection (CPP) in crisis areas. She is a Research Associate of the Smithsonian Institution, a University of Pennsylvania Consulting Scholar, a Board Member of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, and teaches at American University in Rome and Donau University, Krems, Austria.  Dr. Rush has also been recognized by the media as a modern “Monuments Woman,” is featured in the book, “Lives in Ruins,” and received the Archaeological Institute of America 2019 Award for Public Service.

Dr. Rush was a military liaison for return of the Mesopotamian City of Ur to the Iraqi People in 2009, represented U.S. Central Command at Environmental Shuras in Kabul in 2010 and analyzed cultural property protection lessons learned from the Iraq and Afghan conflicts for the U.S. Central Command Environmental Program. On behalf of CENTCOM, she participated in key leader engagements across the Middle East, including Jordanian partnership programs, Eagle Resolve and Bright Star exercises.  Dr. Rush just completed an international panel developing cultural property protection policy and doctrine for NATO and has served as a faculty member for UNESCO cultural property education programs.  

In addition, Dr. Rush has served as a U.S. Army civilian for 20 years, managing cultural resources at Fort Drum, NY.  She and her team are responsible for identifying and protecting important archaeological sites on Fort Drum, and they manage the LeRay Mansion Historic District.  Dr. Rush has a BA from Indiana University Bloomington, an MA, and PhD from Northwestern University, and is a Fellow of the National Science Foundation and the American Academy in Rome.  Her research specialty is Native Americans of northeastern North America, and she serves as Native American Affairs Liaison for the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum.

Be sure to join us at the AU LREC Symposium in October to learn more about Dr. Rush’s most recent work and her views on how cultural property and heritage protection will evolve in the future.

Maj Gen Barry R. Cornish



Maj Gen Barry R. Cornish confirmed he will be joining us virtually as a speaker at the Air Force Culture and Language Center (AFCLC) and Air University’s Fifth Annual Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture (AU LREC) Symposium.

Maj Gen Cornish attended AFCLC’s General Officer Pre-Assignment Acculturation Course (GOPAC) in 2019, where he received formal, tailored instruction on culture/region with some focus on language/communication skills in preparation for his deployment to Afghanistan. At his GOPAC, he expressed his appreciation for the course.

The course offered “exposure to the geopolitical importance of Afghanistan to the wider regional problems in the Middle East and South/Central Asia,” he said. “[The team] better enabled me to go to [Afghanistan] and do my job.”


Maj Gen Cornish is now the Commander, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern), Air Combat Command. Before this, he was the Commander, 9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force-Afghanistan; Commander, NATO Air Command-Afghanistan; Director, AFCENT’s Air Component Coordination Element for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and support of NATO’s Operation Resolute Support; and Deputy Commander-Air for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan.

Dr. David Vine



Dr. David Vine is professor of political anthropology at American University in Washington, DC. Vine’s newest book, The United States of War: A Global History of America’s Endless Conflicts, from Columbus to the Islamic State (University of California Press), will be released 13 October. The United States of War is the third in a trilogy of books about war and peace. The other books in the trilogy are Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia (Princeton University Press, 2009) and Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World (Metropolitan/Henry Holt, 2015).

Vine’s writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The GuardianPoliticoMother Jones, and The Boston Globe, among others. With the Network for Concerned Anthropologists, Vine helped write and compile The Counter-Counterinsurgency Manual or, Notes on Demilitarizing American Society (Duke University Press, 2019) and Militarization: A Reader (Prickly Paradigm Press, 2009). Vine is a board member of the Costs of War Project and a co-founder of the Overseas Base Realignment and Closure Coalition. Vine received his PhD and master’s degrees from the City University of New York’s Graduate Center.

Maj. Gen. Alexus G. Grynkewich



Maj Gen Alexus G. Grynkewich is the Director of Operations, U.S. Central Command. In this role, he is responsible for developing contingency plans and assisting the commander in overseeing joint operations across a 20-nation area of responsibility covering Central and Southwest Asia.

Maj Gen Grynkewich received his commission in 1993 after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He has served as an instructor pilot, weapons officer, and operational test pilot in the F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-22 Raptor. Maj Gen Grynkewich has commanded at the squadron, wing, and Air Expeditionary Task Force levels, and his staff assignments include service at Air Combat Command, U.S. European Command, Headquarters Air Force, and the Joint Staff. Before his current assignment, he served as the Deputy Commander for Operations for Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.