News: Georgia takes another step towards NATO interoperability, 08-Jun.-2022

On 8 June 2022, the Defense Institution Building School – one of the flagship initiatives of the substantial NATO-Georgia package – achieved a major milestone, as it was certified as an Accredited Education and Training Center by the NATO for a period of six years, by the Allied Command for Transformation.

This status will facilitate even wider participation in the School’s high-quality training and education courses by participants from Allied and Partner nations. The first of these courses is the Basic Strategic Communications Course, certified by NATO in the spring of 2020. With this accreditation, Georgia has taken another important step towards meeting NATO interoperability standards. NATO defines interoperability as “the ability to act together coherently, effectively and efficiently to achieve Allied objectives”. It is the foundation of all NATO operations and a cornerstone of the Alliance. For Ms. Tea Nikolashvili, director of the school, the concept of Georgia-NATO interoperability now extends beyond the war rooms and battlefields to its classrooms. For it is in these classrooms that Georgian and foreign defense and security sector professionals interact on a range of training and capacity building efforts aimed at benefiting the security of Georgia and the Euro-Atlantic.

The Defense Institution Building School was founded in 2016 and is a flagship initiative within the framework of the substantial NATO-Georgia package, which aims to strengthen Georgia’s ability to defend itself and advance its preparations for membership to NATO. The school offers professional development programs and instruction on issues such as – among others – Black Sea security, good governance and parliamentary oversight of the armed forces, as well as hybrid warfare, countering disinformation and women’s peace and security, reflecting Allied defense standards. transformation in its learning and development processes. Since the inauguration of the School’s activities, the Clingendael Institute has partnered with the School by providing professional advice and equipment support funded by the Defense Related Capacity Building Trust Fund and NATO security. An integrated NATO advisory team, led by Germany and supported by Slovakia, also supports the school’s mission.

A true mark of the school’s professionalism and ability to fill gaps in training requirements, its administrators work closely with NATO’s Building Integrity (BI) initiative to develop other NATO-certified courses designed to improve good governance within the Georgian Armed Forces. The Defense Institution Building School aims to become a regional center of knowledge in the broader Black Sea security context and to serve as a platform to support the implementation of NATO and EU through learning and development activities.

Norma A. Roth