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Tuesday 20 July 2010
SC 116 Graduation Ceremony
On 20 July 2010, the Graduation Ceremony for Senior Course 116 took place at the NATO Defense College in the presence of the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Giampaolo DI PAOLA.
It was a significant occasion, marking the end of six months of intensive study for the 82 Course Members, who came from 29 NATO, PfP, Mediterranean Dialogue, ICI and contact countries.
The ceremony was also attended by the Ambassador of Norway, H.E. Mr Einar M. BULL, the Ambassador of Moldova, H.E. Mr Gheorgh RUSNAC, the Ambassador of Albania, H.E. Mr Llesh KOLA, and the Ambassador of Morocco, H.E. Mr HASSAN ABOUYOUB. Italy, NATO Defense College’s host nation, was represented by Lt.Gen. Giuseppe BERNARDIS, Chief of Italian Air Force General Staff, Admiral Cristiano BETTINI and Lt. Gen. Michele FRANZÈ.
The NDC Commandant, Lt. Gen. Wolf Dieter LOESER, opened the ceremony by summing up the experience of the Course Members in Rome.
"Six months full of new impressions, of travelling, of understanding other perspectives and other ways of thinking, of learning intercultural competence, or in other words: of developing human interoperability. Today is the day for you to decide to what extent this has been achieved."
Lt. Gen. LOESER also spoke about the NATO operation in Afghanistan, the way forward to the New Strategic Concept, and the impact of the financial crisis, which imposes serious budget constraints on each country’s defence spending.
The Commandant gave the floor to Admiral DI PAOLA, who highlighted NATO's new commitments. His speech was followed by a challenging question and answer period.
After watching a video clip of the key moments of their time at the NATO Defense College, the new graduates of Senior Course 116 stood before their national flags to receive their diplomas from Admiral DI PAOLA and congratulations from the Commandant and the other General Officers of the College.