MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --
Members of the Language Enabled Airman Program provided interpreter and translation support to more than 30 African nations during Special Operations Command Africa’s Annual Senior Leader Conference, Silent Warrior 22.
Silent Warrior brings U.S., African and Western Partner military leaders together to discuss priorities of effort, identify efficiencies and resolve items of concern. The conference advises the planning efforts and prioritization of SOCAFRICA operations, exercises, and activities.
“Given that one of the key objectives for this conference is to enhance relationships with our African partners, LEAP Scholar support was instrumental in ensuring clear understanding among participants as the foundation for collaborative discussions on countering violent extremism,” LTC Colleen Krepstekies, Special Operations Command Africa, said.
Portuguese language LEAP Scholar Maj. Gabriel Bush was part of the team that provided language support for the exercise.
“SOCAFRICA relied on our team to interpret during collaboration events and breakout sessions with more than 30 nations. Countries that spoke Arabic, Portuguese, French, and English would not have been able overcome language barriers to connect with each other and U.S. senior leadership without that support,” Bush explained.
The LEAP team worked directly with U.S. Embassy and SOCAFRICA foreign policy advisers to interpret conversations and translate presentation documents to enhance the level of exchange between senior foreign policy officials.
“One particularly notable event was interpreting for the Mozambique delegates and SOCAFRICA/CCV during a one-on-one meeting,” Bush said. “The conversation was a crucial exchange and allowed our countries to address vital issues related to SOCAFRICA support in the region.”
The multi-capable Airmen on the LEAP team integrated with SOCAFRICA during Silent Warrior 22 utilizing language, regional expertise, and culture skills to enhance Agile Combat Employment.
“The LEAP team support was professional and responsive, and all interpreters had a positive disposition. They did the critical thinking necessary to ensure quality engagements with conference attendees and helped with planning each day’s support regarding interpreter activities and requirements. They also shared other insights of what LEAP offers to support the DOD community, such as document translation,” Krepstekies said. “Overall, working with them was a great experience that we will capitalize on again for our future conferences.”