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NDC - Education NDC Web site – Education – NATO Regional Cooperation Course (NRCC)

NATO Regional Cooperation Course (NRCC)

  • 25 Jun. 2024
  • |
  • Last updated: 16 May 2024


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 conducted biannually, in spring and fall, in direct response to the decision made by Alliance Heads of State and Government at the Riga Summit in November 2006, to foster closer dialogue and enhanced cooperation in the realm 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 31 group photo


The overarching goal of the NRCC is to serve as a nexus for bridging critical issues that are pertinent to Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) nations with those that are relevant to NATO. By facilitating in-depth discussions, analysis, and collaboration, the course aims to foster mutual understanding, facilitate knowledge exchange, and promote networking among participants. Through this collaborative approach, the NRCC endeavours to strengthen ties, build trust, and enhance cooperation between NATO and its partner countries in addressing common security challenges and advancing shared objectives in the broader Middle East region.

What the NRCC does

Distinguished from other NATO Defense College courses, the NATO Regional Cooperation Course seeks to intertwine significant matters concerning the broader Middle East region with the global community through strategic political-military analysis of security issues impacting both the region and NATO. 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.

Who can attend

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 19 April 2024, 28 participants from 18 NATO, Mediterranean Dialogue, Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, PfP as well as Global Partner countries graduated from NRCC 31. To date, the NRCC has been attended by 842 participants from over 40 nations

During the NRCC, Course members attend lectures alongside the NATO Defense College Senior Course and take 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 include 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 also participate in a very demanding exercise where they learn how to work collectively in order to solve conflicts and become familiar with the NATO comprehensive approach.

NRCC Director:

Click here to access the NRCC portal.