Visit to the NDC by Aquitaine Regional Alumni of the “Institut des Hautes Études de Défense Nationale” (IHEDN)
On Friday 13 June 2014, the Aquitaine Regional Alumni Association of the “Institut des Hautes Études de Défense Nationale” (IHEDN) visited the NATO Defense College. This visit was intended to give the delegation an overview of the mission and activities of the NDC.
The visit began with a warm welcome by BrigGen Patrick Desjardins (FRA F), Director Academic Operations Division (DAO), and Col Erick Landes (FRA A), French Senior National Representative.
In order to have a practical idea of how the NDC works, the group was briefed by the NDC DAO, who spoke about the structure of the College and its academic activities. He illustrated the objectives and main features of the NDC’s courses, focusing in particular on the Senior Course, the NATO Regional Cooperation Course (NRCC) and the new Senior Executive Regional Conference (SERC).
This was an excellent opportunity for the visitors to better understand the NDC’s role as NATO’s premier academic institution.
In 1948, the Institut des hautes études de défense nationale superseded the Collège des hautes études de défense nationale, founded by Admiral Castex in 1936 to train senior civil servants and military officers for war, in a vision extending beyond the purely military framework. The IHEDN then saw its mission evolve in the light of changes to France’s defence doctrine. Thus, over the years, the Institute has responded to the changing nature of warfare and to the demands put upon the nation against the backdrop of increasing globalization. Today, the IHEDN specializes in various areas of defence, security, foreign policy, armaments and defence economics. For more than 75 years, through the diversity of its training and the varied backgrounds of course participants (both civilian and military, with many different nationalities represented), the IHEDN has made a sustained and significant contribution to the dissemination of knowledge, awareness and expertise. Training is largely based on the wealth of experience that can be offered by senior managers from the public sector or from civil society. Every year, approximately 10,000 individuals participate in IHEDN activities.