Language Proficiency Critical

The unique skills of AFSOC’s 6th Special Operations Squadron, DOD’s sole unit for providing aviation foreign internal defense training, are in high demand, said Lt. Gen. Donald Wurster, head of Air Force Special Operations Command. The command has been working to double its FID manpower, and, at the same time, is consolidating advisory training at the Air Force Special Operations Training Center and developing a better language instruction capability, he said Tuesday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference. In fact, Wurster said he “would like to have a better way to teach people language,” citing that as one of his most pressing requirements. The most important tool for the combat FID mission is language, because it generates instant credibility, Wurster explained, adding that it’s very easy to take a guy who flew MH-53 Pave Lows and adapt him to fly night assaults with a Mi-17, but it is difficult to teach him to speak and think in Pashto at night in the mountains, far from friendly forces.