NATO Defense College and Simon Fraser University sign Memorandum of Understanding

LGen Whitecross and SFU students group photo
Lieutenant-General Chris Whitecross, Commandant of the NATO Defense College and the students of the Simon Fraser University 2018 NATO Field School celebrate the official opening of the school on May 8, 2018. Photo: DND/CAF

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On March 29, 2018, Lieutenant-General Chris Whitecross, Commandant of the NATO Defense College (NDC) and Professor Andrew Petter, President of Simon Fraser University (SFU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two institutions.

The MOU marks the first time a Canadian civilian university will formally have access to NDC facilities and resources. Through this MOU, the two institutions will coordinate scheduling, resources, mentorship and site visits for the 2018 SFU NATO Field School and Simulation Program.

The program is designed for upper-level Political Science undergraduate and graduate students in Canada. It involves learning directly from high-ranking NATO mentors and military officers through site visits and briefings. The program culminates in a four-day NATO simulation exercise that mirrors how NATO nations seek political consensus in response to a humanitarian crisis, followed by a press conference.

“This innovative program will provide students across Canada with the opportunity to receive a world-class, interdisciplinary educational experience with lifelong value,” explained Dr. Alexander Moens, Field School Director. “The combination of comprehensive coursework and immersive learning is a first for both SFU and the NATO Defense College”

Image gallery

  • LGen Whitecross speaks to SFU students
  • LGen Whitecross and SFU students group photo

The 2018 NATO Field School official opening was held on May 8, 2018 at SFU’s Burnaby Campus. To mark the occasion and highlight the MOU between SFU and NDC, LGen Chris Whitecross delivered her Commandant’s Address to the students.

“The NATO Defense College has put one of NATO’s core tasks – cooperative security – into practice by adapting our organization and providing a forum where future NATO leaders – such as yourselves – can analyze and discuss the implications of global events that affect defence and security,” LGen Whitecross said. “I encourage you to take full advantage of the opportunity the NATO Field School and Simulation Program offers, and I am pleased that you will be participating in our Negotiation, Mediation and Decision Making exercise during your visit to Rome this summer.”

The 2018 NATO Field School will take full advantage of the MOU with NDC this summer through a program schedule that includes tours of Western Canada military bases; a visit to the Canadian troops deployed on NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence and the Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence in Riga, Latvia; visits to NATO Headquarters, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Brussels, Belgium; and the four-day simulation exercise at NDC in Rome, Italy.

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