By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2014 – The Defense Department and Italy’s defense ministry have signed a memorandum of understanding to promote joint training and education for peacekeeping operations.
The agreement, signed today at the Pentagon, takes effect immediately and identifies and develops joint training and education as well as policies and procedures.
“I believe this is the first, formal agreement on education and training that the undersecretary of defense of personnel and readiness has ever signed with [Italy’s] Carabinieri,” said Frank C. DiGiovanni, director of DOD’s force readiness and strategy.
“This new MOU, [while] old in association, has a very productive objective to promote peace and stability to areas of the world that are under stress,” added Frederick E. Vollrath, assistant secretary of defense for readiness and force management.
Maj. Gen. Ilio Ciceri, Italy’s chief of staff of the Carbinieri General Headquarters, said the support and position of the United States has been a source of “immense pride” for his country.
Reflecting on critical moments of the Carabinieri deployments in peace support operations, Ciceri said the first Carabinieri intervention model was tried in the Balkans in the 1990s, marking the first shared experience with the United States.
It was also deployed in Albania and Kosovo, where it is still active, and in Iraq, he said, adding that it has become a specialized instrument supporting the coalition armed forces with police information gathering and public security.
Such experiences continued in Afghanistan, with the International Security Assistance Force mission, he said, by training and mentoring local police forces.
“The use of our training and deployment techniques in the theaters of operations has always enjoyed an extraordinary support and appreciation by U.S. commanders and by the highest political authorities and soldiers of your country,” he said.
The agreement lasts five years, and could be extended for another five.
(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter @MoonCronkAFPS)
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