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Language-enabled Airman Defines Agile Combat Employment for Japanese Partners

  • Published
  • By Mikala McCurry, AFCLC Outreach Team

Language, regional expertise, and culture education are essential to enabling Agile Combat Employment within the United States Air Force. Recently, Japanese LEAP Scholar Tech. Sgt. Chance Italiano defined and illustrated ACE for our partners at the Japanese Self-Defense Forces during the planning session for the 2022 COPE NORTH Exercise.

According to the 2022 Agile Combat Employment Doctrine, ACE enhances Airmens’ adversary understanding, increases interoperability with partners and allies, develops multi-capable Airmen, and shapes adversary perceptions.

"Agile Combat Employment was a main theme in this conference, a new concept that is difficult to grasp for DoD members, let alone our partners in the Australian and Japanese military,” Italiano explained. “I gained insight into these concepts as well as helped explain these concepts in the target language, enabling the creation of a very complex plan that will exercise our trilateral ability to interoperate and fight the next threat.”

During his last Language Intensive Training Event, Italiano interpreted for the final planning conference for the COPE NORTH 23 Exercise, an annual trilateral joint exercise held in the INDOPACOM region. 

“I used my language skills to bolster communication and bridge the three nations together to improve interoperability within the planning conference. Conversations and briefings were better understood with an interpreter present, improving the final execution plan for the exercise,” Italiano said. “This LITE enabled better communication and understanding within the conference’s lines of effort, allowing a completer and more understood plan for the execution.” 

“Additionally, this LITE allowed better interoperability, camaraderie, and espirt-de-corps between all three partner nations as we look to work together in securing the INDOPACOM region from potential threats,” he said.

Shortly after attending the LITE, Italiano was selected to commission as an Active Duty Officer in the USAF through Officer Training School in a highly competitive process with a selection rate of less than 23 percent. 

“In my application, I emphasized my abilities and experiences as a LEAP Scholar, which I believe made a huge impact to the board and led to my selection. I am absolutely proud to have been a LEAP Scholar for many years as an enlisted Airman and am excited to continue in LEAP as an officer,” Italiano said.

Italiano’s support enabled integration with Japanese partners to further the impact of ACE within the USAF.

“Tech. Sgt. Italiano employs the human weapon system as a multi-capable Airman,” AFCLC Language Division Chief Christopher Chesser said. “He embodies the very best of our Air Force.”

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