Yerevan, Armenia (January 30, 2016) – Armenia held a grand opening ceremony for its new National Defense Research University (NDRU) on January 28. The opening of the NDRU culminates seven years of close cooperation through the Defense Education Enhancement Program (DEEP) and represents a major milestone in the transformation of the Armenian Armed Forces.
Serzh Sargsyan, Armenia’s President, attended the NDRU opening ceremony along with Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Defense Ministers Seyran Ohanyan and Levon Mnatsakanyan, and NDRU Rector Major General Hayk Kotanjian.
President Sargsyan awarded the Medal of Gratitude to Dr. James Keagle, Professor at the U.S. National Defense University (NDU), and Lt. Gen. (ret.) Tad Oelstrom, Professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University, in recognition of their support enabling the establishment of the NDRU.
Defense Minister Ohanyan expressed gratitude to the U.S. National Defense University and Harvard University, and underscored the intention for the newly established NDRU to become a “smart power” intellectual center promoting regional stability and security.
Expertise and strategic guidance from Dr. Keagle and Lt. Gen (ret.) Oelstrom were provided over a seven year period in the framework of the Defense Education Enhancement Program (DEEP), jointly managed by the Partnership for Peace Consortium (PfPC) and NATO, and which began in Armenia in 2009 to help foster western academic best practices into the Armenia’s defense education programs.
The Executive Director of the PFPC, Dr Raphael Perl, emphasized that Armenia’s accomplishment here “is 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. DEEP programs are currently underway in 13 countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Georgia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Serbia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. For more information on the DEEP program, please visit http://pfp-consortium.org/index.php/activities/defense-education-enhancement-program-deep.