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Language scores validate Afghan Air Force English Immersion Lab

  • Published
  • By Capt. Rob Leese
  • 438th AEW PAO
The Afghan Air Force's English Immersion Lab, known as the Thunder Lab, received exciting news from Defense Language Institute in San Antonio, Texas, on Nov 10. Three of our first seven lieutenants have achieved the minimum English Comprehension Language score needed to head to U.S. Air Force fixed-wing pilot training. They were able to accomplish this in an average of only 24 days.

Previously, the Afghan officers took an average of 405 days to reach the same goal. This equates to a quicker entry into the pilot training pipeline and a corresponding earlier return to Afghanistan. Additionally, these scores have many additional benefits to include reduced cost of extended pay/per diem in America as well as a lowering the absent without leave rate.

The Thunder Lab advisors received the news of the ECL score update via the Thunder Lab Facebook page. The use of social networking technology enables the Thunder Lab alumni the ability to communicate with the Thunder Lab staff as well as current students. This link has already been extremely useful because the alumni have provided feedback on methods to improve the Thunder Lab experience.

The feedback has enabled the Thunder Lab staff to better prepare the current students for operations at DLI San Antonio. Additionally, the Thunder Lab staff has been able to continue to grow their close relationships with the alumni students even though they are separated by thousands of miles.