AFCLC, Air Force Culture and Language Center, Air Force's Global Classroom

Advanced LEAP Scholars Host Virtual Subject Matter Expert Exchange

  • Published
  • By Outreach Team, Mikala McCurry

Through the Training Partnership Request program, Spanish Language Enabled Airman Program scholar Master Sgt. Victor Perez recently provided language support to a Search and Rescue Subject Matter Expert Exchange between the U.S. Air Force, the Mexican Air Force, the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA in Spanish), and Integral Aerial Surveillance Systems (SIVA in Spanish). The TPR program allows the Air Force Culture and Language Center to pair advanced LEAP scholars with partner organizations to host advanced Language Intensive Training Events. 

“Incredible opportunity to be part of this event and provide support to the U.S. Air Force – Fuerza Aérea Mexicana (FAM) Search and Rescue (SAR) Subject Matter Expert Exchange. Not only did I use my native Spanish language, but I also leveraged my intelligence experience to more accurately convey the intent and requirements of both parties, ultimately strengthening our partnership and security in the region,” Perez said.

The purpose of this SMEE was for discussion on topics related to air traffic and SAR. This includes the present status of SAR and related agreements between the U.S. and Mexico and to refresh the status of weapons controller (Air Battle Manager) training in Mexico. The parties involved also discussed the intent for moving forward during this event. The Air Force’s search and rescue mission is designed to rescue or aid distresses military personnel in a combat zone, but has also been used to rescue people during natural disasters.

During this event, both nations discussed general terms concerning Search and Rescue, Weapons Controller (Air Battle Manager) training and the status of SEDENA’s training program. Master Sgt. Perez’s professionalism and language skills were vital to a successful event between the nations. Spanish LEAP scholar Senior Master Sgt. Diego Yoshisaki, the Superintendent for AFNORTH Theater Security Cooperation, coordinated this event and praised Master Sgt. Perez’s excellent language support. “Master Sgt. Perez’s expertise was pivotal for the execution of this event,” Yoshisaki said.

According to Yoshisaki, this event was originally on the FY21 Annual Plan of Activities as an in-person visit by two U.S. air battle managers. The two air battle managers planned to travel to Mexico to embed and observe command and control operations to gain a better understanding of tactics, techniques and procedures and operational constraints and to guide the development of bilateral TTPs and agreements. Due to pandemic constraints, this event was repurposed to be conducted virtually.

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