By Debbie Gildea, Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs / Published May 13, 2014
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) --
Region and language assignments were announced this week for the 58 Regional Affairs Strategists who were notified in January of their selection for regional affairs strategist duty, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced.
RAS is a force development initiative intended to create a cadre of officers with in-depth regional expertise, and is open to Airmen with 7-10 years of commissioned service.
"RAS participants have an opportunity to develop international insight, foreign language proficiency, and cultural understanding," said Lt. Col. Carl Wood, AFPC international affairs assignments. "Once they complete appropriate training, RAS officers will fill international, political-military focused assignments. Their in-depth international and regional experience and professional level language skills, combined with existing operational skills, help us build partnerships with allied and coalition forces, which is an Air Force core competency."
Most officers selected for the program will earn an advanced academic degree, learn a foreign language, and serve a six month immersion among several countries within their assigned region.
Depending on their existing degrees, foreign language proficiency, and in-country experience, selectees may have their advanced academic degree, language training, or cultural immersion training waived. This shortened training timeline limits their time away from their functional career field.
Language requirements vary, he said. Requirements exist for officers proficient in Russian, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Tagalog, Urdu, Hindi and more.
"Completing a graduate degree and learning a second language are intensive time commitments away from their core community, so we need committed, focused Airmen who are ready for some hard work," Wood said.
For more information about RAS duty, and other personnel issues, visit the myPers website. Select "search all components" from the drop down menu and enter "RAS" in the search window. To see the region and language assignment list, select PSDM 14-40.