By Mikala McCurry, AFCLC Outreach Team, AFCLC
/ Published August 04, 2021
On his most recent mission supporting the U.S. – Chile Defense Consultative Commission on Research Development Testing event, Spanish LEAP Scholar Msgt. Jorge Anchundia was praised for his eagerness to accept the mission on short notice and his excellent performance during the event.
Spanish Language Enabled Airman Program Scholar Master Sgt. Jorge Anchundia is the Superintendent, 316th Operations Support Squadron, 316th Operations Group, Air Force District of Washington, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. He is the senior enlisted adviser to the commander, delivering world-class aviation equipment, services, support and training across the National Capital Region and five geographically separated airfields.
Anchundia has performed military services in various challenging duties, such as electrical systems journeyman/craftsman; development and training administrator; instructional systems design developer; training manager at the squadron, group and wing level; and technical training instructor. Before his current assignment, he was the Flight Chief, Training and Logistics for the Inter-American Air Forces Academy at Joint Base San Antonio, Lackland.
Anchundia learned about LEAP through a fellow LEAP Scholar, Staff Sgt. Cesar Salgado, who introduced the program to their team in 2014. Anchundia was interested in LEAP because of the opportunities to use his skills to have a greater footprint as a Language-enabled Airman, the opportunity to apply for special pay, networking and travel.
“The experience has been extremely rewarding for several reasons. Firstly, the openness of the program inspired me. Officers and enlisted are eligible, hence the opportunity to network and make life-long friendships with both parties is incredible. Mentoring Company Grade Officers is already part of our responsibilities as Senior Noncommissioned Officers; therefore, there is room to mentor them on the cross-cultural aspect of being international/global Airmen.
“I also appreciate the multi capable aspect of the program. Long before “multi-capable Airmen” was part of USAF’s strategic effort/dialogue, we’ve demonstrated this capability by increasing our language skills and using them with working-level foreign professionals in countries such as Chile, Colombia, Barbados and Peru.
“The opportunity to study and immerse abroad is also gratifying. Being able to study the current economic, political and social issues of your assigned country in a local university is an unforgettable experience.
“I have been able to support efforts such as visiting a local installation for the Latin American Cadets Initiative from the Secretary for the Air Force, International Affairs; visiting a local installation for the Council on Foreign Relations; and providing moderation and interpretation support for the United States – Chile Defense Consultative Commission on Research Development Testing event,” Anchundia said.
On his most recent mission supporting the U.S. – Chile Defense Consultative Commission on Research Development Testing event, Anchundia was praised for his eagerness to accept the mission on short notice and his excellent performance during the event.
“On behalf of Air Force Culture Language Center’s leadership, I would like to take the time to sincerely thank you for an exceptional job utilizing your language skills for the U.S. – Chile Defense Consultative Commission Event. Mr. Steve Felts received this request late Thursday and in less than two business days, Mr. Felts chose you because of your LEAP Level, continued training/involvement in LEAP, and your immersion/training in Chile on the Area Studies Immersion. With less than a day before the event, you were notified with minimal time to prepare, and without a doubt, per Capt. McMillian, ‘MSgt. Jorge Anchundia performed exceptionally in all respects’,” Language Intensive Training Event program manager Keith McCabe said.
In addition to the recognition on his recent mission, Anchundia has also received several awards and recognition for his service as an Airman and a LEAP Scholar. In 2020, he was named the 2020 Air Force District of Washington, Education and Training Manager of the Year and the 2020 HQ Air Force, Education and Training Manager of the Year.
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