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DLIELC welcomes alumnus Hungarian Air Chief

Col. Schaefer joins Maj. Gen. Kilian at conference table.

Maj. Gen. Nandor Kilian, Hungarian Air Chief, joins Col. Joseph Schaefer, Defense Language Institute English Language Center commandant, in discussion regarding the current training advancements at DLIELC at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, June 13, 2021. The Hungarian Air Force delegation toured DLIELC’s newest technology in aviation training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Spencer Berry)

Hungarian Air Force members view flight simulator at DLIELC.

Maj. Peter Torok, Hungarian Air Force flight instructor, uses the flight simulator with the assistance of Eric Wilkinson, specialized English instructor, at the Defense Language Institute English Language Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, June 13, 2021. The visiting Hungarian delegation was able to ascertain the level of aviation language training their students would acquire when attending DLIELC’s specialized English training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Spencer Berry)

Col. Wilson shakes hands with Hungarian Air Chief at DLIELC.

Maj. Gen. Nandor Kilian, Hungarian Air Chief, shakes hands with Col. Rockie Wilson, 37th Training Wing commander, upon arrival at the Defense Language Institute English Language Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, June 13, 2021. They are joined by George Gagnon, AETC/IA Director. (U.S. Air Force photo by Spencer Berry)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- Historically, the Defense Language Institute English Language Center hosts about 100 international visits every year. These visits welcome high-ranking individuals from all over the world, all in support of the Department of Defense’s mission and security cooperation goals.

In the second international visit since the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, DLIELC welcomed Maj. Gen. Nandor Kilian, Hungarian Air Force Air Chief, to the DLIELC campus June 13. Kilian was joined by Hungarian military training and aviation experts as they. The delegation toured the DLIELC Aviation Language Training Center.

Kilian is a former DLIELC student. In 2001, he was enrolled in DLIELC’s Professional Military Education preparation course as a lieutenant colonel. Now, Kilian serves as the commander of the entire air force branch of the Hungarian Defence Force, an example of how the relationships built at DLIELC can lead to stronger future security cooperation around the world.

“National military leaders’ ability to communicate is foundational to the interoperability of their forces.  When our allies send their service members to learn English and then train with our U.S. forces, the relationships they build and the cultural understanding gained underpins future cooperation,” said Col. Joseph Schaefer, DLIELC commandant. “Building international relationships and capacity through English language training, and having former students return as leaders in their respective militaries is a prime example of why we do, what we do here at DLIELC.”

Hungary is looking to increase aviation competences across their air force; the capabilities provided by DLIELC enhances the United States’ ability to be a partner of choice for future Hungarian aviation training.