What a phenomenal trainer!Flight Lieutenant, RAF Lyneham
4 Flight Protection Wing from RAF Lyneham was charged with providing security and ground support to the airbase near Basra, in southern Iraq. To prepare personnel for their deployment, language and cultural training were identified as key training requirements prior to arriving in-theatre. Engaging with and gaining the support of the local population was seen as critical to the success of 4 Flight Protection Wing’s deployment in Iraq.
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force’s (RAF) role, in conjunction with the Defence organisations, is to deliver the UK Defence Vision to defend the UK and its interests, strengthen international peace and stability and be a force for good in the world. We achieve this aim by working together on our core task to produce battle-winning people and equipment. The RAF will build upon the successes of our past and on the characteristics that make air power essential across the full spectrum of operations in order to contribute to the Defence Vision. Our people lie at the heart of this capability. We rely upon their professionalism, dedication and courage. We must train them well and enable them to leverage the potential of technology to achieve our vision of an agile, adaptable and capable Air Force.
The key requirements of the programme were to provide RAF personnel with:
The main challenges were seen as:
To ensure that the training was tailored to the specific requirements of the RAF, delegates completed a detailed questionnaire regarding their prior experience and knowledge of Iraq. In addition, key personnel were interviewed and information on individual job functions was collated and analysed. This information enabled Communicaid’s Intercultural and Communication team to design a programme in conjunction with our team of Iraqi language and intercultural experts. Language training was delivered in two small groups according to prior exposure while the intercultural training programme was delivered to the plenary group.
The programme was delivered by a team of two intercultural experts and two native Iraqi Arabic trainers, one male and one female in each group. The team worked closely together to ensure that the different elements of the training were integrated and developed throughout the week. The training was highly interactive and included role-plays, simulations and discussion of case studies and critical incidents to allow practice and consolidation of acquired knowledge.
Communicaid designed a one-week blended language and cultural training programme which comprised:
As a result of this blended intercultural and language training programme RAF personnel were more confident and better prepared for their deployment to Basra. Attendees mastered the key language and communication skills necessary to engage successfully with the local Iraqi population. The in-depth intercultural training programme provided RAF personnel with a solid briefing on Iraqi culture which enabled them to work more effectively in the region.
“Really very useful” Wing Commander, RAF Lyneham
“What a phenomenal trainer!” Flight Lieutenant, RAF Lyneham