JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
The Defense Language Institute English Language Center re-engaged its support of the Indo-Pacific strategy in early April 2021 by deploying Mobile Training Teams to the Vietnam Ministry of National Defense Center for Student Management and Advanced Officer Training (Unit 871) in Hanoi, and the Royal Thai Military Academies and Language Institutes in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Vietnam MND Center and Unit 871 are a recurrent MTT site for DLIELC, the former returning to the United States in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The mission of the MTT is to improve English language proficiency within the Vietnam MND to affect the Vietnam People's Army, Navy and Air Defense Air Force. Currently, the two-person team is conducting intensive English Language Training, or ELT, using DLIELC’s American Language Course for 30 Vietnamese officers.
Having a strong ELT program for its military personnel is a top security cooperation priority for Thailand. The Royal Thai Armed Forces and Joint U.S. Military Advisory Group Thailand are currently working to rejuvenate the country’s entire military ELT program after facing setbacks resulting from the 2014 coup d’état. Positive ELT re-engagement is in full swing with the current deployment of a four-person MTT conducting instructor-training for joint force Thai military and civilian instructors.
While most MTT missions are focused on increasing English language proficiency, this mission’s emphasis is on providing teacher-training, to include familiarization workshops for the recently adopted Non-intensive American Language Course curriculum, which will be used for instruction at the Royal Thai Military Academies, and intensive American Language Course support for the language institutes.
Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, the Thai government implemented restrictions which resulted in the MTT not being able to teach face-to-face. However, the team continues to conduct training by providing virtual instruction of the courses.
DLIELC remains committed to executing its mission of providing worldwide ELT. Although COVID-19 continues to be a relevant factor, the pandemic has made the organization more resilient as the team has maintained focus on the objectives of the security cooperation enterprise.
The critical partnership between the United States and Indo-Pacific partner nations is essential for accomplishing the current Indo-Pacific Security Cooperation Plan and ensuring the formalization and modernization of their military forces.
Additionally, DLIELC aims to advise and assist leadership in Vietnam and Thailand on their current and future ELT goals and objectives. The overall intent is to have a robust, self-sufficient ELT program, supported by DLIELC-trained ELT instructors and managers, which will contribute immensely to our partnership with both countries and their strategic goals in the coming years.