Welcoming the first 8 National Guard officers who will participate in the US IMET training

Defence Redefined
Published on 17/06/2021 at 18:30

Another important step towards strengthening their cooperation in the field of Defence and Security was taken today by the USA and the Republic of Cyprus. On Thursday, the United States welcomed to its Embassy in Nicosia the first 8 National Guard officers who will participate in the International Military Education and Training (IMET) offered by the United States to Cyprus.

The IMET training is key to US security assistance, promoting regional stability and defence capabilities through vocational military education and training. 

Speaking at the ceremony at the Embassy, ​​in the presence of the Minister of Defence, Charalambos Petridis, the US Ambassador to Nicosia, Judith Garber, noted that just a year ago the US announced that the Republic of Cyprus will become the latest partner in the world in military education and training (IMET). She said that through vocational and technical courses, and with specialized teaching, IMET provides valuable training and education to students from US partner countries such as Cyprus, “allowing us to better coordinate our cooperation on security”.

As Ms. Garber pointed out, IMET strengthens international coalitions and partnerships and teaches a common approach to cooperation on global security, from the fight against terrorism to cyber security.

Also read: Minister of Defence | New relationship between Cyprus – USA

“Today I am so excited and it is my honor to welcome the first members of the National Guard of Cyprus who chose to participate in IMET. I am so proud to welcome these officers into my home and the Republic of Cyprus to the community of IMET partner countries. Today really reflects how much US-Cyprus security co-operation has developed,” she said, adding that these officers will take courses at the National Defence University and the Military War College. There will also be students, she added, who will attend the Navy graduate school for cyber security courses, which reflects the two countries’ focus on protecting themselves from cyber threats.

The American diplomat said that the USA increasingly sees that the security of Cyprus is necessary for the protection of the vital infrastructure, the lives as well as the livelihood of our citizens. “This emerging threat,” she continued, “requires us to work together to find another way to protect information networks.”

The US Ambassador stressed that IMET is also an opportunity to establish professional links between the US military, Cyprus and many other countries around the world. “I hope and expect that the friendships and professional connections from these courses will help them and will last throughout their careers,” she said.

For his part, Defence Minister Charalambos Petridis, speaking at the ceremony, said that the participation of National Guard officers in the IMET is an important moment that everyone should be proud of today. “In a few days, the first Cypriot officers will travel to the United States to attend prestigious courses – the first candidates are here with us today – marking the beginning of a new era and a very promising chapter in the Cyprus-US relationship. As the State Department recently noted in May 2021, the cooperation between the United States and the Republic of Cyprus is significantly close,” he said.

Mr. Petridis noted that the training through IMET offers an invaluable opportunity for the officers of the Armed Forces to expand their knowledge and horizons as well as to create a long-term network and to enrich their professional skills, something that will allow them to fulfill their future goals in their demanding tasks.

Very important, he said, is the fact that the US offer of training will also help consolidate and build personal relationships between the military and build long-term friendships between US and Cypriot officers.

Also read: US Military Education and Training for the Republic of Cyprus | Its goals

The Minister added that all the developments in the last two years, such as the EastMed Act, access to IMET, the partial lifting of the embargo on non-lethal material through ITAR, the introduction of CYCLOPS and the continuous progress in various other agreements have created a very promising and ambitious framework for the defence and military cooperation between Cyprus and the United States.

“Hopefully, with the gradual lifting of travel restrictions imposed as a result of the pandemic, we will be hosting senior US Department of Defence officials in Cyprus to assess our cooperation so far and discuss future prospects,” he said.

The Minister assured the Ambassador that we will continue our goal of deepening and strengthening bilateral defence cooperation. “Cyprus and the United States share the goal of regional defence and security cooperation to promote regional peace, stability and prosperity as well as to address threats ranging from terrorism to climate change. Both countries are participating in military exercises with other countries in the region and we look forward to the possible US involvement in some of our tripartite cooperation in the form of 3+1,” he concluded.

Also read: US Assistant Secretary of State | Cypriot military training, F-35s sale and Russian naval vessels






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