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LEAP Spotlight: Capt. Spencer Snow

  • Published
  • By AFCLC Outreach Team

“I currently work as a UH-1N helicopter pilot assigned to the 459th Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Base, providing operational support airlift for members of United States Forces Japan. I began my study of Mandarin Chinese in my first year as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy. During my time at USAFA, my language instructors informed me of the then-new Language Enabled Airman Program. I promptly applied, wanting the opportunity to continue my foreign language study upon graduation and commissioning.

“As a LEAP Scholar, I have participated in both online eMentor classes and Language Intensive Training Events. My LITE involvement has included an Area Studies Immersion on Cross-Strait Relations at National Chengchi University in Taipei, Taiwan, and an Advanced Special Emphasis course at Maxwell AFB, AL, on China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Both events were excellent opportunities for focused language study and informative on developments in the INDOPACOM AOR.

“In Taipei, my fellow LEAP Scholars and I had daily interactions with Taiwanese subject matter experts and professors on their nation’s fragile relationship with the People’s Republic of China. At Maxwell, my classmates and I analyzed the PRC’s recent infrastructure initiative and collaborated on possible USAF counterstrategies. The knowledge I gained in both programs helped me to better understand strategic developments during my current assignment in Japan.

“I am thankful LEAP has given me a formal setting to continue studying Mandarin Chinese, and it has provided me with unique immersion and learning experiences. I will continue to actively participate in the program and hope to become increasingly involved in Air Force work that requires the language skills and knowledge LEAP has afforded me. I encourage Airmen and cadets with any foreign language proficiency to apply for LEAP so they too can partake of these invaluable opportunities.

-Mandarin Chinese LEAP Scholar Capt. Spencer Snow

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