American AWC students, international officer classmates share culture
Air War College "Taste of America" participants share cultures during the annual event, held Oct. 27 at Maxwell Air Force Base. "Taste of America" offers international officers and their families samples of food and culture from eight areas around the country. (Courtesy photo)
AWC students share culture with international officer classmates



by Master Sgt. Michael Voss
Air University Public Affairs


10/31/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala.  -- American students at Air War College held a "Taste of America" event Saturday, displaying American food and culture for 150 international officers and families attending classes at the Air University.

The annual event, held in the Civil Air Patrol hangar, offered food samplings from eight regions around the country including the Northwest, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.

"There are some specific flavors of American culture our classmates and their families may not get to experience while they are here, so we tried to provide those flavors at this event," said student Lt. Col. Nathan Allerheiligen, who represented the Midwest. "Plus, it is just a great opportunity to enjoy each others' company."

Although taking in corndogs and Buffalo wings can be great, the cultural outreach event is designed to increase the relationships between international and U.S. military leaders. During the 10-month AWC course, students focus on senior-level leadership training and the strategic environment, but part of the class mission is to share cultures and build relationships between students.

"The National Military Strategy directs the Department of Defense to strengthen and expand our network of partnerships to enable partner capacity to enhance security" said Col. Brian Fox, AWC Deputy Director for Student Operations. "Air Education and Training Command is the U.S. Air Force's executive agent for international partnership and engagement activity." Taste of America exemplifies a critical Air Force core competency of engagement and building partnerships with our allies, friends and partners, while reinforcing that partnership is about relationships and trust between people.

In return, in March 2013 the AWC and Air Command and Staff College international students and their families will put on the international cultural festival "Taste of the World" event, where participants dress in clothes representative of their nations and serve home-cooked international food.

"The goal of this event is to continue to build relationships with our international students," said Lt. Col. Tricia York, AWC student. "In a world where we are working so closely with our allied partners, this event is one of many at AWC that gives all students a great chance to solidify those relationships."

Both events support the Montgomery Area Food Bank. This year's "Taste of America" guest contributions of cash and food items will provide over 1,500 pounds of food to local residents in-need.