FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) - The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation celebrated 13 years of service with an anniversary event at Fort Benning Thursday, Jan 23 at 9:45 a.m.
The occasion marks the first public event held in the Institute's auditorium, a part of the permanent campus on Baltzell Avenue.
WHINSEC was opened in Jan 2001 as a Department of Defense education facility operated by the U.S. Army.
Over the years, the Institute has served nearly 18,000 students from 36 countries. The annual student numbers have increased from about 800 a year to a little over 1800, with about 90 per cent of those coming from partner nations.
In the past year, WHINSEC has been named an 'Institution of Excellence' by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, has had its Maneuver Captains Career Course certified for qualification of U.S. Army captains, and received United Nations certification for its Peacekeeping Operations Planner's Course.
The WHINSEC Auditorium is on Bills Street directly in front of the Army Marksmanship Training Unit and behind Building 396, which for many years housed the National Infantry Museum. Parking is in the lot on Baltzell Avenue, west of the campus.
About the Institute:
The purpose of the institute is to provide professional education and training to eligible persons of the nations of the Western Hemisphere within the context of the democratic principles set forth in the Charter of the Organization of American States.
Missions include: (1) Educating current and future leaders; (2) Fostering mutual knowledge, transparency, confidence, and cooperation and; (3) Promoting democratic values, respect for human rights, and an understanding of U.S. customs and traditions.
Faculty and staff include uniformed members of the armed services of the United States and partner nations; a State Department officer, and civilian professors. One-third to two-fifths of the faculty consists of Partner Nation Instructors. Twenty-six different nations have provided Partner Nation Instructors during WHINSEC's existence. The institute could not provide the quality education it does without them.
Students are men and women—military, law enforcement, and civilians—primarily from the member states of the OAS. Nearly 18,000 professionals from 36 nations have taken courses since the Institute opened.