571st, 818th MSAS present at Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture Symposium

  • Published
  • By Capt. Gustavo Gonzalez
  • 621st Contingency Response Wing Public Affairs

The 571st and 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadrons (MSAS) presented a panel at the Air Force Culture and Language Center’s 8th Annual Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture (LREC) Symposium, 15 – 17 Nov 2023 at Maxwell Air Force Base, AL.

The symposium provides a platform for Air and Space Force LREC practitioners to come together and advance collective initiatives, as well as a forum for best practices and lessons-learned to further enhance the importance for language and cultural savvy in the Department of the Air Force

“This year’s LREC Symposium is a very important moment for the Air Advisor Enterprise”, explained Lt. Col. Rob Chance, 571 MSAS Commander. “We have assembled leadership representatives from each of the Air Advisor standing units (571 MSAS, 818 MSAS, 36th Tactical Advisory Squadron in Guam, 435th Contingency Response Support Squadron in Germany, and the 156th Tactical Advisory Squadron of the Puerto Rican Air National Guard). “This unified front we present says a lot, it's important for us to speak and act together. And, the support Air Advisors get from AFCLC has been amazing, we really are entering an era of formalized professionalization of Air Advisors on a scale of Foreign Area Officers and the Language Enabled Airmen Program.”

This year’s theme is “Integrated by Design,” a correlation to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown Jr’s direction on force development and the type of skills it would take for the U.S. and Allies and Partners to prevail together in strategic competition.

According to Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Byers, 571 MSAS air advisor, the MSAS is already a special unit designed to integrate.

“It was encouraging to see that this concept is being applied in a broader context to other units, services, and non-government organizations to further expand security cooperation and security force assistance in ways that all allies and partners involved can succeed together utilizing our diverse backgrounds, cultures, and histories.”

Additionally, this year’s symposium featured notable keynote speakers to include General Mike Minihan, Air Mobility Command Commander, and Maj. Gen. Linda Hurry, Director of Logistics for the Air Force. “When Senior Leaders like this come to the LREC Symposium and explain the sense of importance language and culture play in Air Force operations, people ought to pay attention and double-down”, Lt. Col. Chance said.

The MSAS’s are unique squadrons composed of Air Advisors that conduct Security Force Assistance missions to build partner capacity and partnerships in competition to gain access and influence.  Air Advisors seek to ensure the US is the “Partner of Choice” to our allies and partners.  Trust that is built in competition is absolutely needed to integrate allies and partners in crisis and conflict situations.  Air Advisors are at the tip of the spear in ensuring our allies and partners are integrated by design, executing tactical actions that have strategic impacts.  The 571 MSAS is traditionally geographically aligned to SOUTHCOM AOR, and the 818 MSAS to AFRICOM AOR.  Both units are also able to pivot to other theaters to meet priorities closest to the threat at hand.