TAMPA, Florida, –
Professional military education is a traditional component of soldier and force readiness – and its importance has only grown as militaries around the world face a non-traditional threat of countering violent extremists, said one senior defense official.
"Without a doubt, the greatest successes in the U.S.-Kazakhstan military relationship are in professional military education," said U.S. Army Col. James Hogan, defense attaché to Kazakhstan. "This where we see the long-term effects of a relatively minimal investment."
For instance, in the late 1990s Kazakhstan and U.S. defense officials created a non-commissioned officer academy that has produced one of the most productive NCO corps in Central Asia – if not the entire CENTCOM region, Hogan said.
And 20 years later, this unique aspect of the U.S.-Kazakhstan military relationship extends to exchanges between the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Kazakhstan's Land Forces Institute and between Kazakhstan's National Defense University and U.S. military senior service schools.
These exchanges are further bolstered by Kazakhstan's security cooperation connection with the Arizona National Guard, which was among the first State Partnership Program relationships established in 1993.
"Maintaining these relationships enables us to continue to modernize Kazakhstan's defense forces and improve the ways we can counter violent extremism together," Hogan said.