Rome - Italy. On 26 September 2016, the NATO Defense College had the pleasure of hosting the inauguration of the sixteenth NATO Regional Cooperation Course (NRCC-16).
NRCC-16 will run from Monday 26 September to Friday 2 December 2016, bringing together 34 participants from 17 countries.
The NATO Regional Cooperation Course is a ten-week strategic- level course, offered twice each year. The aim of the course is to promote closer cooperation with the Middle East and North Africa, given the global issues that NATO is engaged in. As one of the NDC's principal educational programmes, the NRCC attracts participants from countries belonging to NATO, the Partnership for Peace (PfP), the Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI), as well as Global Partners.
Designed to inform and stimulate participants' thinking, the course analyses the geopolitical importance of the Greater Middle East, looks in detail at key political, military, social and economic trends within the region and, if appropriate, enables participants to discuss possible roles for NATO in responding to threats and challenges in the areas concerned.
In the Ismay Auditorium, Course Members were welcomed by NDC Commandant MGen Janusz Bojarski, as well as by the Dean BG (ret.) František Mičánek and by the Director of the Middle East Faculty Col Filippo Bonsignore, together with MEF staff.
The inauguration lecture "From Wales through the Warsaw Summit - The Land Perspective" was delivered by Deputy Commander LANDCOM LtGen Paolo Ruggiero, formerly Chief Operations Office at the Italian Army General Staff, Chief of the Executive Office of the Italian CHOD, Chief of the Executive Office of the Deputy Chief of the Italian Army General Staff, and Chief of Staff of the Italian Army Logistic Command. Promoted to Lieutenant General in July 2014, he was appointed Commander of the Army Command for Education, Training and School of Applied Military Studies in Turin. From February to September 2015 he was deployed to Afghanistan, first as Chief of Staff and then as Deputy Commander for Transition of the NATO "Resolute Support" mission. In January 2016, he was appointed Deputy Commander NATO Land Command in Izmir, becoming the first Italian to take on this important role.
The College extends a warm welcome to all NRCC participants and wishes them every success in gaining the most from this unique opportunity to learn, exchange views and build lifelong bonds of friendship.
(Text and photos provided by Mr Sergio Tagliata, ITA C, NDC Public Affairs Office)