Memo Seals Support for Center of Excellence-Defense Against Terrorism
By Lt. Col. Derek Kaufman, USAF
Special to American Forces Press Service
STUTTGART-VAIHINGEN, Germany, Sep. 12, 2005 A document formalizing the agreement between the U.S. Defense Department and military staffs of Turkey and the other NATO nations providing support to the NATO Center of Excellence-Defense Against Terrorism in Ankara, Turkey, was signed Sept. 8 in Ankara.
Gen. Isik Kosaner, deputy chief of the Turkish General Staff, and Marine Corps Gen. James L. Jones, commander of U.S. European Command, formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding in support of the center, which conducts studies and offers courses and academic symposiums on counter-terrorism and anti-terrorism policy.
The center is an international forum hosted by Turkey, with participation by Bulgaria, Romania, the United Kingdom and the United States, for nations to collaborate in the development of cooperative solutions to fighting terrorism.
The memorandum stipulates the framework for the U.S. portion of funding and participation by U.S. staff, students and guest speakers. The United States plans to dedicate three military personnel to the center, including a U.S. Navy captain for the deputy commandant's position.
"Turkey is ideally suited to host the Center of Excellence-Defense Against Terrorism," Jones said. "Turkey has the second-largest armed forces in NATO, is strategically located, and has over 30 years' experience combating terrorism."
Defense attaches from the other sponsoring nations and a representative from NATO Allied Command Transformation, Italian Air Force Maj. Gen. Alberto Notari, also signed the agreement.
The center hosts courses and discussions for NATO and Partnership for Peace members, Mediterranean Dialog countries, Turkish and allied governments, military universities, media and nongovernment organizations on topics ranging from effective border control to countering cyberterrorism. Turkish and U.S. officials said the center's goals are to provide training and education, conduct studies, validate new concepts and disseminate lessons learned on collaboratively fighting terrorism. The center's first course was held in March.
(Air Force Lt. Col. Derek Kaufman is assigned to U.S. European Command public affairs.)