The event was presided over by the Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa, in the presence of the Portuguese Ministry of Defence, the NATO Communications and Information Agency General Manager Koen Gijsbers and top Portuguese officials. This event marked the start of construction of a prestigious NATO training facility in Oeiras.
The NATO Communications and Information Academy will provide expert training to civilian and military staff from NATO and its member Nations on the Alliance’s advanced IT and cyber systems, both software and hardware. Operators trained in the Academy will go on to man NATO's IT and communications systems, as well as its air, ballistic, and cyber defences. The NATO Communications and Information Academy is expected to receive 6000 students attending 400 courses per year.
“We are breaking the ground for the construction of an Academy that will be a pillar of a modern, future-ready NATO,” said the General Manager in his opening speech. “The Academy will be a hub and incubator for industry, academia and vendors involved in training technology.”
The Portuguese Prime Minister said, “This NATO School is an opportunity to reinforce Portuguese capacity in an area that is absolutely critical.”
The NATO Communications and Information Academy will install its cutting-edge facilities in the Portuguese Compound of Reduto Gomes Freire, in Oeiras, Portugal. The new school will share the location with other Host Nation and NATO entities, such as Striking and Support Forces NATO and the Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre. The contract foresees the construction of a 13,000 square metre building. Once fully operational, in the third quarter of 2019, it will replace several NATO Communications and Information Agency training facilities, including the NATO Communications and Information Systems School in Latina, Italy, and the Air Command and Control.