Congressman Panetta “wowed” by Presidio visit

By Patrick Bray
DLIFLC Public Affairs


 

Rep. Jimmy Panetta, California’s 20th Congressional district representative, visits the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and Presidio of Monterey Feb. 22. Panetta learned about the foreign language mission of the Institute and how the installation cooperates with the City of Monterey for maintenance services. (Photo by Patrick Bray, DLIFLC Public Affairs)

MONTEREY, Calif. – The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center welcomed U.S. Representative for California’s 20th Congressional District, Jimmy Panetta, to the Presidio of Monterey, California, Feb. 22.

Panetta visited a classroom in the Institute’s Persian-Farsi school where he interacted with some of the students who were about 30 weeks into their 48-week intensive foreign language and culture program.

“I was honored and humbled to visit with the students personally and hear and see these young kids who are anywhere from 19 to their early 20s – how much they appreciated being able to learn the language and have the teachers and the facilities to do so,” said Panetta, visibly impressed by his classroom experience.

Panetta, who grew up in Monterey, also said that DLIFLC students give him hope for the future and the nation’s security, explaining that the world has changed greatly since he was a child when his father, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and his brothers would eat sandwiches while gazing over the Monterey Bay from the Presidio of Monterey on a Sunday afternoon.

“Being here today, in my official capacity, which is my first visit as a congress member, you realize how important DLI is to our country and to our national security,” said Panetta.

Rep. Jimmy Panetta, California’s 20th Congressional district representative, visits the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and Presidio of Monterey Feb. 22. Panetta learned about the foreign language mission of the Institute and how the installation cooperates with the City of Monterey for maintenance services. (Photo by Patrick Bray, DLIFLC Public Affairs)

“Congressman Panetta received a command brief about the entire enterprise, student body, faculty size…types of languages we teach, etc.,” said DLIFLC Commandant Col. Phil Deppert. “I am confident that he has a full understanding of what we do and what we are for.”

Later in the day, Panetta met with a consortium of military, Department of Defense and civilian leadership from organizations located on the Central Coast.  This was the first time Panetta met with the group, known as Team Monterey, which was formally brought together in 2007 by his predecessor, Congressman Sam Farr.

“In preparation for Congressman Panetta’s first official visit here, his staff asked if we could also reenergize and gather a group that has historically been known as Team Monterey,” explained Deppert. “The purpose of the effort is to identify and leverage points of organizational interdependence, cooperation, resource sharing, saving time and taxpayer money,” he said.

“It [Team Monterey] comes down to showing the ability to work together, to rely upon one another,” said Panetta, explaining that his hope is to grow Team Monterey to encompass the inclusion of other educational institutions and organizations in the area.

Rep. Jimmy Panetta, California’s 20th Congressional district representative, visits the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and Presidio of Monterey Feb. 22. Panetta learned about the foreign language mission of the Institute and how the installation cooperates with the City of Monterey for maintenance services. (Photo by Patrick Bray, DLIFLC Public Affairs)

“The more of us there are together, the stronger we’re going to be,” he said.

An example of a this type of a relationship is DLIFLC’s agreement with Monterey-based educational institutions for students and faculty to take courses at the nearby Middlebury Institute of International Studies, California State University Monterey Bay or Monterey Peninsula College.

DLIFLC students are able to receive an Associate of Arts degree in foreign language by transferring 15 general education credits from other institutions. Many students take courses at the Monterey Peninsula College, which are designed with this population in mind.

More than 13,200 students have earned AA degrees upon successful graduation from their foreign language program since 2002. The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center provides resident instruction in 17 languages at the Presidio of Monterey, California, with the capacity to instruct another 65 languages in Washington, D.C., graduating more than 220,000 linguists since 1941.

In addition, multiple language training detachments exist at sites in the U.S., Europe, Hawaii and Korea, spanning all the U.S. geographic combatant commands, in support of the total force.



Posted Date: 24 February 2017