Language-enabled Airmen strengthen AFRICOM partnerships through life-saving course Published Nov. 9, 2022 By Mikala McCurry, AFCLC Outreach Team AFCLC MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The Defense Institute for Medical Operations’ Mobile Training Team recently conducted a life-saving course for several Gabonese military and civilian organizations on Outbreak Detection and Response in Libreville, Gabon, with support from members of the Language Enabled Airman Program. Africa is one of the key regions where the United States strives to be a trusted defense partner, according to the 2022 National Defense Strategy. This course allowed U.S. Airmen to strengthen partnerships in Africa to advance regional goals, addressing one of the challenges set forth by the NDS. Fourteen LEAP Scholars from the Air Force Culture and Language Center translated the course curriculum from English to French, which consisted of a 78-page document and 1,631 PowerPoint slides. The curriculum focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other diseases on military operations, training missions, deployments, and health care operations. This was the largest curriculum translation project conducted by LEAP Scholars thus far, totaling nearly 100,000 words. “The students were briefed on Outbreak Detection and Response to diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, ebola, and COVID-19. This MTT was deemed mission essential in support of AFRICOM Campaign Plan Line of Effort #4: Strengthen Partnerships,” Jerome Johnson, Security Cooperation Program Manager for DIMO, said. French LEAP Scholar Senior Master Sgt. Alain Mukendi served on the team who provided translation support for this project. This translation project allowed Mukendi and his team to become more integrated with African partners, even without stepping foot on the ground in Africa. “Being included in this project was significant for LEAP Scholars because we were able to bridge the communication gap and articulate effectively by translating what problems the military faced during the pandemic and how to strategically overcome them,” Mukendi explained. The LEAP team utilized this Language Intensive Training Event to enhance their language, regional expertise, and culture skills while meeting the demands set forth by the National Defense Strategy and National Security Strategy to strengthen relationships with partners and allies. “This LITE was a great reminder of how resilient we are as a force and how we make people's lives better! Every slide I translated allowed me to learn more about how we can contribute to national security and defense strategies and ultimately make our loved ones safer. I also feel that I am more prepared to speak in medical or health care terms in French, which is something I wasn't as competent in before,” Mukendi said.