Chisinau, Moldova (June 29, 2015) – On 27 June, a graduating class of new officers from the Moldovan Military Academy ushered in a significant milestone in Moldova’s cooperation with NATO and partners. The graduation signaled the achievement of capacity for the Defense Education Enhancement Program (DEEP) in Moldova, a first of its kind event, as this is the first degree-granting course for new officers developed under the DEEP program.
The Minister of Defense Vorel Cibotaru, and other Moldovan leaders attended the graduation at the Moldovan Military Academy in Chisinau, during which time NATO officially declared capacity for the Moldova DEEP.
Defense education reform is an important part of Moldova’s Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) with NATO, a roadmap of sorts that guides the country’s cooperative activities. Achievement of capacity for the DEEP program in Moldova is seen as a significant accomplishment, bringing Moldova further along the path to Western integration.
Since Moldova’s request to NATO in 2008 for defense education assistance under the DEEP program, NATO, the Partnership for Peace Consortium, the US Army War College, and the Romanian National Defense University have worked together to fully modernize the Moldovan Military Academy’s commissioning course for new officers.
A feather in the cap for the DEEP program, Moldova is a model of success for transformational change in defense education. Jointly managed by NATO and the Partnership for Peace Consortium, the DEEP program features multi-year cooperation plans with partner countries to assist with the modernization of defense education institutions. To date DEEP programs are underway in 13 countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Georgia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Serbia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
Jean d’Andurain, Coordinator for Defence Education in NATO’s Political Affairs and Security Policy Division, in looking to the future said “NATO is excited about continuing our fruitful cooperation in the Moldova DEEP program, and in enlisting the expertise of the Moldovan Military Academy to help other partner nations follow in Moldova's footsteps."