Over the course of this week, the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom and Cranfield University delivered the fourth Strategic Leadership Programme with partners in Cyprus.
A press release by the High Commission circulated Friday says that military professionals from Cyprus, Greece, Jordan, Israel, Egypt and the UK, together with colleagues from the Cyprus Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence, the Customs Department, the Police and the University of Nicosia, completed the five-day course which was funded by the UK with support from the Cyprus Academy of Public Administration.
In addition to training led by the Defence Academy, attendees heard personal testimonies on the challenges of strategic leadership from Lieutenant General Demokritos Zervakis (Chief of the National Guard), Mr Evgenios Evgeniou (CEO PwC Cyprus) and Major General Rob Thomson, Commander British Forces Cyprus.
Defence Minister, Charalambos Petrides, and British High Commissioner to Cyprus, Stephen Lillie, opened the event.
In his introductory remarks, the British High Commissioner said that UK and Cyprus defence relationship is strong and the global defence and security challenges shared, and the interest is mutual in ensuring stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“Joint education and training initiatives like the SLP are essential to fostering ties at the individual and institutional levels, for now and into the future”, he said.
According to the press release, earlier this year, a National Guard officer, and participant on this year’s SLP, graduated from the Masters-level Advanced Command and Staff Course in Shrivenham, England; another officer is currently part of a year-long programme with the Royal College of Defence Studies in London. Furthermore, earlier this month, a small team from the National Guard team visited the UK to participate in the Cambrian Patrol competition; a renowned military skills competition. The National Guard won a silver medal for their efforts.
This fourth Strategic Leadership Programme falls within an important year for UK-Cyprus defence relations, spearheaded by the week-long visit to Limassol New Port this July of HMS Queen Elizabeth, one of the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers and part of the UK Carrier Strike Group deployment.