NATO Regional Cooperation Course (NRCC)

  • 10 Feb. 2017
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  • Last updated: 10 Feb. 2017 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-16 Course President BGEN Meshal Rowished A. Alenazi receives his graduation diploma from Mauritanian Minister of Defence Diallo Mamadou Bathia, Commandant LtGen Chris Whitecross and Dean BGen (ret.) František Mičánek.


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 and NATO member countries.


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 29 April 2016, 35 participants from 16 countries graduated from NRCC 15, our latest course. To date, the NRCC has been attended by 431participants from over 26 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 and the Gulf region. Some of the challenges examined included the new NATO Strategic Concept, State Building and Security, Development, Migration and Climate Change, Economic Security and Terrorism. At the end of the course, students participated in a demanding Crisis Management Exercise that required a comprehensive approach to resolving crises.

Building on the success of the previous fifteenth courses, NRCC 16 with its 34 Course Members from 18 Countries, was launched on the 26th of September and ran until the 2nd of December 2016. The next is scheduled from 18 September to 24 November 2017.

NRCC Director:

Click here to access the NRCC portal.

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