JIPT addresses JBERs needthrough proactive leadership

Photo ByAirman 1st Class Jonathan ValdesThe Joint Implementation PreventionTeam addresses community concerns and needs during…

Photo ByAirman 1st Class Jonathan ValdesThe Joint Implementation Prevention Team addresses community concerns and needs during a monthly meeting at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, July 19, 2018. The JIPT brings together JBER community subject matter experts on resources and leadership. The meeting is a way to discuss concerns or address issues concerning the community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jonathan Valdes Montijo)

Similar to a Community Action Information Board at an Air Force base, the JIPT brings together JBER community subject matter experts on resources and leadership. The meeting is a way to discuss concerns or address issues concerning the community.

I want everyone in our community, no matter what uniform they wear, to know about the resources available to them at JBER, said Carolyn Craig-Sprow, community support coordinator and executive director of the JIPT. The contributing keys to bringing our annual Community Action Plan together involves results from the most recent U.S. Air Force Rand survey labeled 2017 Air Force Community Feedback Tool and the Community Strengths and Themes Assessment used by the U.S. Army Public Health Center/Community Health Promotion Council.

Currently the JIPT is working on the installations Joint Action Plan to serve as a guide to what is most relevant in meeting the communitys needs, Craig-Sprow said.

Once things have been discussed, issues are sent forward to the Joint Action Wellness Council for consideration and approval.

Here the JIPT and JWAC are able to help peel back the root cause of some of the problems faced locally, said William Kays, U.S. Army Alaska health promotion officer. For instance, last year a physical therapist identified high instances of muscle skeletal injuries among Soldiers who were on profiles and stationed at Fort Wainwright and JBER, Alaska. The trend was able to be addressed and an exercise program was designed to meet the needs of the soldiers on these profiles.

The results from the program rendered a five-percent increase in readiness and an eight-percent decrease in Soldiers on profiles during a nine-month time frame.

It also fixed the real problem of having Soldiers doing things they were not supposed to do and as a result getting medically boarded out of the military because of serious injuries, Kays said.

Another example of this team impact happened two years ago, when it was identified through the JIPT that suicide rates were higher in the late spring and early summer. Annual refresher training was then switched from the traditional September timeframe to March and April.

The helping agencies are often able to identify trends and point them out to the JIPT which can lead towards prevention and intervention versus reaction, Kays said. The value of our leaderships participation in the JIPT is available to commands to build individual and unit readiness as a whole by highlighting resources available to the entire JBER community. We recognize through this joint team that we all have similar issues.

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Online language traing now earns promotion pots

New software applications for mobile devisces such as this iPad are helping students at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif. In addition, Soldiers worldwide can now earn promotion points by taking the online Headstart2 program developed by DLI.

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 17, 2011) — Soldiers can now earn up to 16 promotion points for completing language instruction with the Headstart2 language training program.

The Headstart2 software uses digitally animated characters involved in military scenarios to teach reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in any of 16 target languages. Soldiers must register for an Army Training Requirements and Resources System account, known as ATTRS, to earn points in any of those target languages.

It gives a Soldier, a Marine, an Airman, a Sailor or a civilian — who doesnt have background in the language, a fairly decent understanding of the culture, a basic understanding of the sound and script, and what we would describe as survival-level language, said Col. Danial Pick, commandant of the Defense Language Institute.

The HeadStart2 program was developed at the Defense Language Institute.

Pick said the program teaches a military-focused vocabulary, designed with requirements from both the Army and the Marine Corps, to help Soldiers and Marines complete the types of missions they will be engaged in during deployments.

He said specifically there is a focus on conducting patrols, cordon and search, medical treatment, as well as interrogatives and vocabulary that allow squads of Soldiers and Marines to ask critical survival-type questions in local populations, as well as have an understanding of culture.

Being able to engage effectively with local populations, Pick said, enables Soldiers and Marines to identify and isolate enemy elements in a population and more effectively deliver aid and development to friendly forces in the countryside and the cities.

For an average user, the language program takes between 80 and 100 hours of self-directed study. The language programs can be accessed online through the DLI website or through service-specific portals, like Army Knowledge Online. The software can either be downloaded and installed on a computer or used online. Soldiers in a remote location, without access to a high-speed network, can also order the disks directly from DLI.

The Headstart2 program, first introduced in 2006 with Iraqi Arabic, is available now in 16 languages. Iraqi Arabic, Pashto, and Dari are available through the Army Learning Management System. Urdu, Persian Farsi, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese European, Russian, French, German, Spanish, Uzbek, Kurmanji, Swahili and Portuguese Brazilian are available through the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, though those are in the process of being moved to ALMS.

An additional 11 languages are under development for HeadStart2, Pick said.

Soldiers who complete the Headstart2 program in any language can get up to 16 promotion points in ATRRS. For those languages hosted on ALMS, those points are automatically posted to ATRRS. For those languages hosted on DLIFLC, Soldiers will need to print out the certificate of training to apply for the credit.

When a Soldier completes Headstart2, he or she gets credit in ATRRS, which not only tells the unit commander at a glance who has or has not completed pre-deployment language and culture training, but it also gives that young Soldier credit in terms of promotion points.

The most popular of the language training programs are Dari, Iraqi Arabic and Pashto. Between June 2010 and June 2011, for instance, some 33,000 individuals used the Dari language program to train for deployment to Afghanistan. But Pick said others may use the program for non-deployment purposes. His own son, he said, used the program to augment his high school Spanish language training.

The Defense Language Institute developed the Headstart2 program completely in-house, Pick said. Theres also another program available online through DLI called the Global Language Online Support System, or GLOSS, that includes training modules to help users achieve level three ability in a target language. And within the next year, Pick said, DLI will release a follow-on training program for Headstart2, called Gateway. The first target language for Gateway will be Swahili.

While HeadStart2 provides Soldiers with a good starting point for language training, the Army has a much more robust option available to prepare Soldiers for deployment: the General Purpose Force Language Training Detachment.

The first of those detachments stood up at Fort Carson, Colo., in 2010, and was the result of a partnership between the operational Army and the Defense Language Institute. There are now seven detachments, as well as mobile training detachments that bring the training to Soldiers.

Right now, only Dari and Pashtu are being taught in language training detachments, and the training time for those languages is 16 weeks. The goal for training in the detachments is to bring students to a 0+ spoken proficiency in either of those languages, depending upon a deploying units area of operations and forecasted mission, said Maj. Gregory R. Mitchell, with the Armys Language and Culture Office, G-3/5/7.

Face-to-face, instructor-based training is the only proven methodology for training spoken proficiency to any level on the Interagency Language Roundtable Scale, he said. This fact alone is the reason why the Language Training Detachment is the Armys method of choice for training the one language-enabled Soldier per deploying platoon.

Mitchell said other languages could be taught in the GPF LTD, and depending on the difficulty of the language, the time for training to reach a 0+ could differ. French or Portuguese, for instance, could be taught to that level in a third of the time, he said.

The LTD concept is very flexible and can be tailored, resources permitting, contract teachers in most languages can be hired within weeks to adapt to arising contingency missions, Mitchell said.

For Soldiers able to successfully complete language training at a GPF LTD, 48 points are available toward promotion. The Army is also awarding 10 promotion points to Soldiers who achieve an elementary proficiency rating on the Defense Language Proficiency Test.

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