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On the bus with IADC Class 48

WASHINGTON, DC (August 29) – The Inter-American Defense College ushered its 48th class on Hemispheric Defense and Security through the doors on July 14. But they wasted no time ushering the multinational group right back out - and into buses - for trips that ranged from an orientation tour of DC, to visits to OAS headquarters and the Inter-American Defense Board.

This year’s class boasts 51 students from 14 countries throughout Latin and Central America. Thirteen percent of the class is civilian, and five percent is female, but they are all senior-level officials in their respective capacities. Although the majority of the briefings and presentations are done in the college’s newly-renovated and modernized auditorium, IADC-sponsored trips have taken the students on tours of the Fort Myer community, Arlington Cemetery, the US Capitol, the National Mall, the OAS headquarters and the Inter-American Defense Board.

The students’ families, not to be left out, also had the opportunity to share experiences and get to know each other, Aug. 8, during the IADC Family Day, which included a barbecue and sports activities. Chief of Studies, Brig. Gen. Roberto Rodríguez of Guatemala, said Class 48’s participation in the college’s 11-month course serves as a unique opportunity for them and their families.

“The vision of the Director (U.S. Rear Adm. Moira Flanders) is to widen the spectrum of education for the students,” explained Rodríguez. “She is actively pursuing partnerships with other academic institutions in order to get more opportunities and better education for them. They will emerge better educated in security and defense, and their families will be better educated in the cultures and traditions of the United States and other nations.”

I study alongside personnel from regions such as Central America, South America and North America,” explained Capt. César Olivares of México. “And we routinely analyze the most difficult issues facing our governments and countries, in a multidisciplinary environment, and with unparalleled academic freedom. I believe the objectives of the Inter-American Defense College are achieved as far as empowering us to perform, and be responsible leaders, in the hemisphere.”
            “The trips add a more global aspect to being at the college,” added Marilin Rejala of Paraguay, who has served as a congresswoman and as vice-president of the Commission on Defense, Security and Civil Relations in her country. “I have dedicated my life to the study of issues of international hemispheric security, and in my opinion, the college is the pinnacle of knowledge on this theme. I think my experience here will help me to support the legislative system in my country more efficiently when I go back to Paraguay.”

Class 48’s future travels will take them to New York in October, and other key U.S. cities in May, where they will visit academic and military seats of education and interact with senior-level officials on themes related to their studies.

The IADC, located on Fort Lesley J. McNair, is one of the foremost institutes of learning for senior-level military, police, and diplomatic officials with an interest in security and defense issues facing Latin America today. An entity of the Organization of American States, the IADC is able to offer approximately 60 students a year from member states of the OAS an unparalleled educational and research experience. Former IADC students include two presidents, 31 ministers, 539 generals and admirals and many other high-ranking officials.

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