DoD

May 24, 2012

Foreign language capabilities remain a priority

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON — A senior U.S. defense official suggested before Congress Monday that a lack of foreign language capabilities in the federal government could potentially pose a national security risk.

“Let me begin by stating that Defense Secretary [Leon E.] Panetta has long believed that having a strong language ability is critical to national security,” Laura Junor, deputy assistant secretary of defense for readiness, said in testimony before a Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Subcommittee “We’re committed to fielding the most capable force that we can deploy.”

Junor said mission success is directly connected to the ability to communicate effectively with local populations and international partners. “Our current challenge lies in filling language-required positions with personnel that possess the requisite language skills,” she said. “We’ve been reducing this deficiency, but we need help. We need our nation’s schools to develop students with these skills from which we can recruit to meet our needs.

“Studies show that exposure to foreign language and early language learning greatly facilitates language acquisition,” Junor said. “Therefore, bringing in individuals with foreign language skills makes it easier to train people to higher levels of proficiency. We are working to overcome these challenges through collaborative, interagency strategies to achieve our vision for language, regional and cultural capabilities,” she added.

These strategies, Junor said, address the importance of identifying language needs, acquiring and sustaining language skills, enhancing language careers, building partners and increasing surge capacity. “The department is improving the identification of its language needs through standardized, capabilities-based processes,” she said. “These processes enable the combatant commanders to articulate their language needs and provide them to the military services who supply the staff to meet those needs.”

DoD is also actively engaged with other federal agencies such as the National Security Education Board and the Defense Language Steering Committee, Junor said. “By experience, we’ve learned the importance of building a surge capacity to yield language expertise quickly and at a reasonable cost,” Junor said. “The department’s National Language Service Corps provides a pool of qualified volunteers with high levels of proficiency, in both English and foreign languages who can serve, and then be activated, as temporary government employees when needed.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DoD

Air Force: AFRL bio-signature research may save firefighters’ lives

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — Imagine facing down a raging fire, up close, with little or no time to save lives and protect property, hauling 75-pound hoses up multiple flights of stairs; carrying victims out and repeatedly putting your life on the line. Then imagine doing it nearly every day. It’s an extreme job...
 
 
DoD

Air Force: Career Intermission Program application window opens July 1

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — The Air Force Career Intermission Program application window opens July 1 for eligible Airmen interested in taking one to three years off active duty for personal or professional needs. Applications must reach the Air Force Personnel Center no later than Aug. 31, with the total force selection panel...
 
 
DoD

DOD Civilian personnel chief discusses future force

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department’s top Civilian personnel policy chief discussed developments intended to address Civilian workforce challenges and improve performance management and resourcing as part of the Future of the Force initiative during a panel discussion held here Tuesday. Paige Hinkle-Bowles, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Civilian personnel policy, participated in...
 

 
DoD

Utility jobs training to open for troops, veterans, spouses

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department announced Tuesday a partnership to launch employment training for transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses in highly skilled utility industry jobs. The Utility Industry Workforce Initiative is a public-private partnership comprising DOD, the departments of Energy, Veterans Affairs and Labor, and private-sector companies Edison Electric I...
 
 
DoD
Air-Force

Air Force: Airmen foster ‘wingmanship’ through gaming

Airmen from the 319th Air Base Wing at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., play an interactive video game in their dormitory dayroom, May 28. Gaming has become a popular way for Grand Forks Airmen to connect outside of duty hours...
 
 
DoD

DOD: Secretary of Defense joins Facebook

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Ash Carter became the first secretary of defense to join Facebook May 29, Pentagon officials announced. In a statement released after Carter joined, officials said the secretary of defense will be able to personally communicate with nearly three million Service members and Civilians on the social media platform. The defense secretary’s...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>