By Patrick Bray
DLIFLC Public Affairs
MONTEREY, Calif. – U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. John P. Horner, deputy director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, visited the DTRA Interpreting Course located with the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center’s Continuing Education Directorate at the DOD Center Monterey Bay in Seaside, California, Jan. 8.
The course trains Russian linguists to be interpreters. Past graduates of the course have interpreted for the Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of State, among others.
“Please take your training here very seriously and do the best you can,” said Horner to a class of 19 student interpreters, representing all four branches of service. “You can expect to be put to work when you arrive at DTRA, but we will do our best to continue to develop you linguistically too.”
Though DTRA’s focus is on threats of a global scale, Horner observed a localized interpreting demonstration. The Presidio of Monterey police department conducted a mock arrest of a DTRA student. The arrestee spoke only Russian during the excursion, while a student interpreted for the police officer. Their instructor evaluated them throughout the whole process.
“Thank you for letting me observe this. I am proud of what you’re doing and the missions that you’re going into,” said Horner.
Linguists with high speaking and listening skills are selected to serve DTRA and are often regarded as the best interpreters in the DOD. Some will interpret on matters related to the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the U.S. and Russia, better known as the New START Treaty.
“As interpreters, you’ll be working in very difficult, technically-oriented environments,” said Horner. “Things are really difficult right now with Russia, more so than a few years back.”
In a question and answer session with the students, Horner fielded questions concerning the future of the DTRA mission, relations with Russia and what they can expect to do in their future jobs.
In addition to serving as deputy director of DTRA, Horner is also the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command Standing Joint Force Headquarters for Elimination of Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Deputy Director of its Center for Combating WMDs, headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
Posted Date: 8 January 2016