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NATO Regional Cooperation Course (NRCC)

  • 13 Feb. 2018
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  • Last updated: 13 Feb. 2018 00:00


The NATO Regional Cooperation Course (NRCC) is the Alliance’s major educational outreach to Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) countries and partners from the broader region of the Middle East. This 10-week strategic level course is offered twice each year, once in spring and again in the fall, and has been developed in direct response to the decision by Alliance Heads of State and Government at the Riga Summit in November 2006 to promote a closer dialogue and intensified cooperation in the field of education. It makes use of lecturers in the Senior Course (40% of the time), has its own separate facilities, its own lecturers, mostly from the Middle East region, and has dedicated Faculty Advisors with PhDs who have studied and worked in the Maghreb, the Mashreq and the Gulf.

NRCC-18 photo with Defence Minister Fifor, Ambassadors and distinguished guests, Commandant, Dean, Middle East Faculty and Staff


The broader aim of the course is to link issues of concern both to MD and ICI nations and to NATO, and to develop mutual understanding and networking among participants.


The NATO Regional Cooperation Course is distinctly different from other NATO Defense College courses. Specifically, it aims to link questions of importance to the broader Middle East region with the wider international community through study and analysis at the strategic political-military level of security issues affecting both the region and NATO; moreover, it examines these issues from the perspective of MD, ICI, NATO member as well as a selection of other partners.


The course is open to officers of the rank of Brigadier General, Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel, and to civilian officials and diplomats of equivalent rank from relevant ministries such as the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other ministries or administrations concerned with strategic security issues.

Nineteen students from 12 nations graduated, on 15 May 2009, from the first full ten-week NATO Regional Cooperation Course (NRCC 1). On 24 November 2017, 46 participants from 20 countries graduated from NRCC 18, our latest course. To date, the NRCC has been attended by 515 participants from over 35 nations.

During the most recent course the students attended lectures alongside the NATO Defense College Senior Course and took part in separate studies of security issues affecting both NATO and the broader Middle East, including the Maghreb, the Mashreq, the Gulf region and its close Asian periphery. The challenges examined included the root-causes of the instability in the MENA region, Migration, Radicalization, Counter-Terrorism, politicization of religion, to name some. During the course, Course Members participated in two very demanding exercises where they learned how to work collectively in order to solve conflicts and became familiar with the NATO comprehensive approach.

Building on the success of the previous seventeenth courses, NRCC 19 with its 46 Course Members from 18 Countries is scheduled from 19th February to 27th April 2018.

NRCC Director:

Click here to access the NRCC portal.

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