By Lori Quiller, AFCLC Outreach Team, AFCLC
/ Published August 24, 2021
One of our summer PACs included Brig. Gen. Steven Edwards, Col. George Dietrich and Chief Master Sgt. Heriberto Diaz. They each took a moment to look back at the course to discuss how the information and instruction would assist them in moving forward into their new assignments.
AFCLC’s General Officer Pre-Deployment Acculturation Courses prepare Air Force general officers for key overseas operational and staff assignments with formal, tailored instruction on culture/region, focusing on language/communication skills.
Although Edwards has experience in Europe, having been stationed at Ramstein in 2014-2016, he admits that time and dynamics have changed since his last visit.
“A lot of things have changed in the world since I was in Europe,” Edwards said. “It’s good to have a refresher on what the key issues are in that region, learn more about what’s going on now, and how those issues are going to impact our safety in the future. Right now, where I sit at Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, this is not the type of thing I’m worried about in my day-to-day life. So, this is very, very good for me to start getting my mind thinking about the future.”
For Dietrich, the PAC served as a bit of a sneak peek of what’s to come with his next command and how to prepare for it.
“We understand that it’s hard to fit in all the things you want to talk about during the course, so you discuss what you can,” Dietrich explained. “It definitely sets your mind on thinking about the things you’ll want to look into once you’re in the seat. As a result, I have a better understanding of what I can expect when I get there.”
Diaz was reflective about having first missed an opportunity to participate in a PAC before his previous assignment in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
“Had I known then what I know now, I would have been in a much better position in my role,” Diaz said. “It would have made me a better advocate and strategic thinker in my role. I want to impress upon those about to change commands to seek out this course. Take the time to get some professional development relevant to the culture you are about to move into for your sake and the sake of your team. It’s well worth the time.”
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