By Stephen Hickok
DCMA Public Affairs
The Air Force Regional Affairs Strategist selection board recently nominated Air Force Maj. Jandrew Taala to participate in the immersive RAS program.
The selection will bring a career change for Taala who currently works for Defense Contract Management Agency’s Lockheed Martin Orlando office as a support program integrator for the F-35 Program.
Taala says his time with DCMA has been “awesome.”
“My leadership has really taken good care of our military members and truly wants us to succeed in our career,” he said. “I had the opportunity to work alongside the industry people responsible in building the products for our warfighters. Our folks behind the scenes ensure these products meet the requirements and customer needs. I have learned so much during my time here.”
RAS is a 24- to 33-month training program providing selected officers with the expertise to serve in international, political-military focused assignments.
“I always get excited when it’s permanent change of station time, but this is a higher level of excitement because it’s a different career and in a different location — hopefully overseas,” said Taala.
Besides leaving DCMA, the program will have Taala working on a master’s degree in regional studies, international affairs and national security studies. He will also receive foreign language training including a six-month regional immersion.
According to Lt. Col. Katie Tanner, the International Affairs Assignments chief at the Air Force Personnel Center, Taala’s future role will be in developing international insight utilizing his new foreign language proficiency and cultural understanding.
“Their in-depth international and regional experience and professional level language skills, combined with existing operational skills, maximize the Air Force’s ability to build partnerships with allied and coalition partners,” Tanner said.
Taala’s advice to others looking for a career challenge?
“You just have to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way,” he said.
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