With 318 students completing nine courses at Fort Benning, the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation will hold its largest graduation in the school’s history at the Columbus Convention & Trade Center .
Students from 17 countries will take part in the 10 a.m. Thursday ceremony called “No Boundaries IV” at the Trade Center, said Lee Rials, a public affairs spokesman for the institute. The courses include Medical Assistance, Transnational Threat Network Intelligence Analysis, Advanced Enlisted Leadership Professional Development and AELPD-E, Engineering & Crisis Response, UN Staff & Peacekeeping Operations & UNS&PKO-E, Cadet Leadership Development and Legal Aspects of Security Force Operations.
Retired Maj. Gen. Enrique Graff, an Argentine officer of the national police, is the guest speaker for the students and instructors. Under the institute’s former name, School of the Americas, Graff was a student in the Command & General Staff Officer Course in 1992 and remained on post as an instructor until 1995.
Although he has served in leadership positions at every level of service, Graff last served as chief of Region 1 of the National Gendarmerie, which includes the capital, Buenos Aires. He teaches International Relations .
Students will return to their units after graduation with more professional expertise and detailed knowledge to contribute to the peace and stability of the Western Hemisphere region and the world.
Since it opened in 2001, the institute’s mission has been to provide professional education and training to eligible military, law enforcement and civilian personnel from the Western Hemisphere nations. It is managed by the Department of Defense and run by the U.S. Army, promoting democratic principles, respect for human rights and an understanding of U.S. customs and traditions.