Navy Readiness: CIWT’s LREC Team Provides Worldwide Language, Regional Expertise, and Cultural Training Resources

12 January 2021

From Glenn Sircy

It’s no secret effective communication, enabled through skill in foreign languages and understanding of foreign cultures and regional dynamics, is paramount to Navy readiness in order to fight and win during Great Power Competition.
PENSACOLA, Fla. – It’s no secret effective communication, enabled through skill in foreign languages and understanding of foreign cultures and regional dynamics, is paramount to Navy readiness in order to fight and win during Great Power Competition.

So, did you know there is a dedicated team of professionals onboard Naval Air Station Pensacola Corry Station, Pensacola, Florida, persistently working to develop, update, and provide various culture orientation and foreign language training resources, free of charge, for Department of the Navy personnel and family members?

As a critical force multiplier, the Navy’s Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture team, as a part of the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT), delivers training on foreign cultures and languages to prepare Navy personnel for global engagements to strengthen ties with enduring allies and cultivate relationships with emerging partners.

The Navy's LREC program is part of the DoD-wide program, and managed to maximize LREC capabilities through recruitment and accession policies, skill development, maintenance, enhancement, employment, and incentivizing of skills aligned to mission needs.

LREC courses, presentations, and working aids present general information about the nature of culture and specific information about particular cultures, including history, geography, ethnic groups, religious institutions, societal norms, culturally-driven individual behaviors and etiquette, and culturally-appropriate and taboo behaviors of many nations. All resources support the Ready Relevant Learning, or RRL, initiative of Sailor 2025 by providing the right training, at the right time, in the most effective manner for our Sailors.

The Every Deployment - Global Engagement, better known as Navy EDGE, Cross-Cultural Competence course talks to cultural barriers and the importance of cross cultural communication. The EDGE course, Culture Shock, describes the phenomenon and its effects. It also identifies symptoms of culture shock and provides strategies to avoid and mitigate it.

Culture-specific EDGE courses exist for the overseas fleet concentration areas of Bahrain, Italy, Korea, Japan, and Spain and for China, Iran, and Russia, nations of strategic interest. Cultural Orientation Training presentations, or COTs, are for the Sailor visiting a foreign country or engaging with someone from a foreign culture. Currently, COTs are available for 37 nations with more under development. EDGE courses and COT presentations are on Navy e-Learning, Navy e-Learning Afloat, and the Navy Global Deployer Application for mobile devices.

The Global Deployer App works on Apple and Android devices and is tied to the Navy’s Learning Management System; Sailors completing EDGE or COT courses via the app receive credit for course completion in Navy e-Learning and their Electronic Training Jacket. To find CLREC training on Navy e-Learning, navigate to the course catalog and search for the key words, “EDGE” and “COT”. The Navy Global Deployer App is free and available for download by anyone from iTunes and Google Play.

Numbered fleet operations orders mandate commanding officers ensure their crews establish and maintain cultural awareness when visiting foreign ports and when operating in and transiting foreign operating areas.

“We have designed our cultural and language training to support Navy mission and to permit commanding officers to satisfy combatant commanders’ theater-entry training requirements,” said Christopher Wise, director of the Navy’s LREC office. “Satisfying training mandates is…well…mandated, but our goal is to have those using our training materials and participating in our instruction acquire the knowledge and skills to feel comfortable in the foreign environment, to help them have positive experiences and interactions, and to be great ambassadors for our Navy and nation,” said Wise. “Sailors who understand others’ cultural perspectives better understand their environment and are better able to shape their own attitudes and behaviors.”

In addition to culture and language training, LREC manages foreign language testing administered for Navy personnel at various sites throughout the world.

"We're excited to be able to provide language testing services," added Wise. "Measuring foreign language proficiency through testing gives Navy leaders insight to the language capabilities available to them and, for a Sailor, a language proficiency score can establish eligibility for training, a new career field, or a special assignment. Demonstrated proficiency may result in award of secondary Navy Enlisted Classifications, Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus pay, and / or college credit. There are many benefits to testing."

Presently, due to COVID, testing is limited to those who require testing. Normally, Navy foreign language testing sites offer the Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB), the Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT), and the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI).

The DLAB measures the aptitude for foreign language learning by the typical native English speaker and screens personnel for:

• assignments requiring foreign language training (e.g., Personnel Exchange Program; Attaché duty; Defense Threat Reduction Agency; Olmsted Scholar Program; foreign war college)

• cryptologic technician (interpretive), or CTI rating

• foreign area officer, or FAO community

Don’t hesitate to explore and utilize these resources to better prepare yourself and your teams to succeed in sustained, day-to-day deck-plate diplomacy. To order culture or language training materials, schedule language training or testing, access pertinent instructions, or just ask a question, please contact the LREC team: Commercial: 850-452-6736; DSN: 312-459-6736; culturetraining@navy.mil; languagetraining@navy.mil; and languagetesting@navy.mil.

To learn more about LREC along with their products and services, visit: https://www.netc.navy.mil/CIWT/NavyLREC/

With four schoolhouse commands, a detachment, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT trains over 22,000 students every year, delivering trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.

For more news from the Center for Information Warfare Training domain, visit https://www.netc.navy.mil/CIWT, www.facebook.com/NavyCIWT, or www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT.
 
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