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AFCLC Co-Sponsors Squadron Officer School “Think Tank” Event

  • Published
  • By Mikala McCurry, AFCLC Outreach Team

The Air Force Culture and Language Center collaborated with the Squadron Officer School to launch its 22A Think Tank initiative.

“We’re challenging our Think Tank cohort to examine how might we leverage language and cultural expertise for strategic competition,” said Lt. Col. John C. Yi, commander of the 33d Student Squadron. “The students, who were competitively selected, presented their recommendations to Air University Commander Lt. Gen. Hecker and Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force Brig. Gen. E. John Teichert from SAF/IA during the out brief in December.”

SOS formally kicked off the 22A Think Tank on 12 November 2021 with a dynamic question and answer panel discussion with AFCLC’s director Mr. Howard Ward, language division chief Mr. Christopher Chesser, and faculty members Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Dr. Daniel Uribe and Brig. Gen (Ret.) Gunther Mueller as panelists.

“AFCLC is honored to have partnered with SOS on this initiative to help Airmen and Guardians explore the ever-pressing need for language and cultural experience for integrated deterrence,” Ward said. “As directed by Chief of Staff Gen. Brown’s Action Order Charlie, we are doing everything we can to improve our Airmen and Guardian’s understanding of competitors’ ambitions and ways of war. This SOS Think Tank initiative was a great example of that.”

The 22A Think Tank, which took place from 8 November 2021 to 15 December 2021, was an opportunity for a select group of students to tackle a major issue and present creative solutions to senior leaders. The students practiced design thinking and developed unique approaches to problem-solving. They also received intensive coaching on design principles adapted from the best practices in industry, academia, and militaries from across the world directly applicable to the strategic thinking skills that are highly valuable to leaders at all levels. 

During the final out-brief for the 22A SOS Think Tank on 13 December, student teams gave their final solution pitches to senior leadership to address gaps and opportunities in leveraging culture and language expertise in strategic competition. Students also received innovative insight and feedback on their solutions from the leadership panel during the out brief.

“One thing I push for is to make Air University relevant to the current fight that’s happening. We have to make sure we take the talent we have and utilize it where it’s needed. We have a team to help with that now with all of the students here,” Hecker said during the out-brief.“AFCLC is the long-term solution for leveraging the opportunity to utilize language and cultural expertise in integrated deterrence. Your presentations and solutions today will provide insight to the center to carry out these visions.”

Hecker and Teichert also served as co-sponsors for the event.

For more information on the SOS Think Tank initiative, visit


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