Article by Javier Chagoya
Vice Adm. Robert Harward, Deputy Commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), met with several Foreign Area Officers (FAO) and Regional Affairs Strategists from NPS and the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center during a discussion in Glasgow Auditorium, Jan. 23. About 40 officers in total, mostly Army and Air Force, who are now learning Arabic and preparing to operate in the CENTCOM area of responsibility got to meet their future boss face to face for a unique question and answer session. Two NPS FAO students also provided Harward with a presentation on their master's thesis projects.
In addition to his discussions with students, and detailed meetings with senior officials at the university and within the Defense Analysis department, Harward paid a brief visit to the school’s United States Partnership for Peace Training and Education Center (USPTC) Program Office. Director Tom Hazard briefed the CENTCOM deputy about the successful work being done in various countries through the efforts coordinated by the USPTC Program Office, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and others. Hazard addressed the current and future challenges the region would be facing, and outlined unique ways to leverage scarce resources in developing long-term, defense capacity-building programs in support of central Asian strategic partners, such as Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is an important player in the Northern Distribution Network, a series of commercially-based logistical arrangements and supply lines connecting Baltic and Caspian ports with Afghanistan via Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus.
Photo credit: Javier Chagoya