(NATO) – The National Defense Research University (NDRU) opened its doors on January 28, in Yerevan, Armenia. The opening of the NDRU is a product of close cooperation through NATO’s Defense Education Enhancement Program (DEEP) and represents a major milestone in the transformation of the Armenian Armed Forces.
During the opening ceremony, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan awarded the Medal of Gratitude to Dr James Keagle, Professor at the US National Defense University and LtGen (ret’d) Tad Oelstrom, Professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University in recognition of their expertise and support in enabling the establishment of the NDRU.
Armenia’s Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan thanked the US National Defense University and Harvard University, and highlighted the intention for the newly established NDRU to become a “smart power” intellectual center, promoting regional stability and security.
NATO and the Partnership for Peace Consortium (PfPC) of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes managed the seven-year project, which began in Armenia in 2009 to help foster western academic best practices within Armenia’s defense education programs.
Dr Raphael Perl, Executive Director of the PfPC, describes Armenia’s accomplishment as “a powerful example of a successful realization of the defense education transformation goals of the DEEP program, and is a remarkable testament to Armenia’s commitment to transforming its armed forces.”
The DEEP program features multi-year cooperation plans with partner countries to assist with the modernization of defense education institutions. DEEPs are currently underway in 11 countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Mauritania, the Republic of Moldova, Mongolia, Serbia, and Ukraine.