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Capt. Doug Reckamp as he takes part in the three-week combat readiness training at Navy Individual Augmentation Combat Training (NIACT) at Fort Jackson, S.C.

"Hands" attend this three week program prior to entering into their intensive four-week language training program, either in Dari, Pashto or Urdu, at the Defense Language Institute (DLI) in Rosslyn, Va. Upon completion of the DLI course they return to NIACT for a one-week refresher prior to their 12-month deployment.

The AFPAK Hands program was stood up in 2009 by then Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, to establish a cohort of experts that specialize in the complexities of Afghanistan and Pakistan language and culture. These members provide persistent engagement on regional issues while advising leaders and commanders throughout the levels of governance and command.

An AFPAK Hand is committed to more than 40 months with the program. During those months, a service member engages in 10 months of training, nearly two years of deployment in-theater in Afghanistan or Pakistan, and one year out of theater in the U.S.

For more information on AFPAK Hands visit http://www.public.navy.mil/BUPERS-NPC/CA REER/LANGUAGE_CULTURE/Pages/AFPAKHands.aspx.