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Rear Admiral Flanders Completes Mission to Panama

Inter-American Defense College Director Rear Adm. Moira Flanders traveled to Panama Jan. 28-30 to promote the IADC academic program due to Panama’s recent reactivation into the Inter-American Defense Board.  During the visit, RDML Flanders’ shared her vision for the future of the college with several key Panamanian officials.

            To encourage enrollment of Panamanian students, Flanders met with Minister of Government and Justice Daniel Delgado Diamante, Vice Minister of Foreign Relations, Ricardo J. Duran J., Director General of National Police Rolando Mirones, and the commanders of Panama’s Air and Maritime services.

            Flanders also had the opportunity to tour the Miraflores Locks Control Center with the Panama Canal’s Chief Engineer Alberto Alemán.

“The Panama Canal is a strategic asset to the hemispheric and global economy,” said IADC Registrar Capt (Ret) Virgilio Reyes, who accompanied Flanders on the trip. “Hence it is important for the college to visit it (Panama Canal), and for the Panamanians to send students here, who could speak about it in an important academic forum such as the IADC.”

Alemán gave a brief history of the canal and its famous locking devices. Miraflores operators then let the Admiral try out the locks’ computer-operated safety controls, which prevent any one of the canal’s three locks from moving, if another is in an incorrect state.

Throughout her trip, Flanders encouraged her hosts to visit Washington, and to participate in a lecture series already in the works which will highlight the strategic relevance of the Panama Canal and enhance awareness of the country’s ongoing transformation of their security and defense sectors.

The IADC, located on Fort Lesley J. McNair, is one of the foremost institutes of learning for senior-level military, police, and diplomatic officials with an interest in security and defense issues facing Latin America today. An entity of the Organization of American States, the IADC is able to offer approximately 60 students a year from member states of the OAS an unparalleled educational and research experience. Former IADC students include two presidents, 31 ministers, 539 generals and admirals and many other high-ranking officials.