Around 100,000 people have been trained at the NATO Communications and Information Systems School (NCISS) in Latina, Italy.
In an official ceremony in June, this remarkable institution celebrated 60 years of successful training, and passed the torch to the new NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Academy, which will open this autumn.
"Over the past 60 years, this school has done its job. It trained generations of experts and technicians to help keep the peace, win the Cold War, find and track down terrorists, and keep our networks stable, free of malware and running in the face of constant cyber-attacks," said Kevin J Scheid, General Manager of the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency.
The NCISS has become an integral component of the NCI Agency, as part of its Education and Training Service Line. The Agency is responsible for acquiring and supporting NATO systems, and providing training to operate them.
"We are here to support NATO and those 60 years have truly been 60 years of service to NATO," said Commandant Paulo Nunes, who is responsible for the school's day-to-day running.
Since the beginning, the school has put its customers first. Its clients come primarily from NATO's command structure – around 85 percent of its students are military personnel.
About half of the students are involved in NATO's operations and theatre support. And 20 percent of its students will be or are already assigned to a NATO operation or a NATO mission.
"This is a huge responsibility for the school," said Commandant Nunes. "If we fail our mission, NATO will be impaired in providing security and accomplishing its missions. We feel that we are very much linked to NATO's operational side."