WHINSEC Begins 10th Year of Service

Monday January 11, 2010

What is it?

The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), a Department of Defense education facility that has been part of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command since it opened in January 2001, celebrates nine years of service to our nation and to our hemisphere on Tuesday, Jan. 12, at Fort Benning, Ga.

The Institute's mission is "to provide professional education and training to eligible personnel of nations of the Western Hemisphere within the context of the democratic principles set forth in the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS), while fostering mutual knowledge, transparency, confidence, and cooperation among the participating nations and promoting democratic values, respect for human rights, and knowledge and understanding of United States customs and traditions."

Those eligible personnel are military, law enforcement and government civilian employees from any OAS nation; that includes Canada, the U.S. and Caribbean basin nations.

What has the Army done?

The Army made WHINSEC part of the Combined Arms Center (CAC) at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. The Institute's Command and General Staff Officer Course is the CAC's own Intermediate Level Education (ILE) course taught in Spanish. Each year, 30 plus U.S. military officers complete their ILE requirement while improving their language skills and developing relationships with peers from partner nations. In all courses taught at the Institute in the nine-year span, nearly 10,000 military, police and civilian personnel have improved their professional expertise and met others in partner nations who are facing the same challenges they are.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The biggest effort for the near future is to get more international students in the ILE course. TRADOC and CAC are working initiatives to bring the number of international officers in that course to equal the U.S. representation. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' emphasis on language training and cultural sensitivity led to WHINSEC bringing U.S. cadets to participate in a Cadet Leadership Course with military cadets of a partner nation. In June 2009, 20 ROTC cadets from 19 colleges and universities across the U.S., lived and learned with 40 Colombian cadets and five Colombian police lieutenants for four weeks.

Why is this important to the Army?

WHINSEC has an established record of success in providing training that supports the objectives of U.S. Northern and Southern Commands. WHINSEC is being looked at by the newly created U.S. Africa Command as a model for training facilities that provide skills and knowledge, and also develop a cooperative spirit with other nations and other peoples. Better trained and better integrated security organizations mean professionals who can take care of their own challenges, leaving our own Army to our own defense.


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January 2010

Dec. 16 to Jan. 25 : 65th Anniversary of Battle of the Bulge


"It's a phenomenal opportunity for two organizations that have been doing security cooperation for years to come together in joint efforts enhancing their skills and expertise by bringing a number of countries together to execute training pertinent to the challenges that we all face. It's truly remarkable to see that this training is able to make a difference when folks return to their countries and implement the skills in mitigating the threats."

- Col. Felix L. Santiago, commandant, WHINSEC, referring to the joint Field Training Exercise (FTX) conducted in March, 2009, by Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School (NAVSCIATTS) and the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), where students represented 24 different partner nations

International students receive riverine training in U.S.


"Yoga is a different way of getting in and trying to address these symptoms. Yoga can teach Soldiers very concrete relaxation strategies. It's grounded in many of the same principles that therapy is grounded in…The fight-or-flight system in combat gets activated so often that it sometimes gets stuck. Yoga is a very effective way to quiet down the autonomic nervous system."

-Alison Thirkield, a clinical psychologist with Joint Mental Health Services, Moncrief Army Community Hospital, works with Soldiers who have post-deployment issues such as PTSD, extols the benefits of using alternative methods, such as yoga which is being explored by the military to treat PTSD among combat veterans

Yoga helps vets find balance


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