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Energy Security Strategic EAG Supports Critical Energy Infrastructure Protection Course in Kuwait

From 11-15 February, 2018, Naval Postgraduate School’s Energy Academic Group (EAG) supported the first Persian Gulf regional training course in Critical Energy Infrastructure Protection/Resilience to the NATO-Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) Regional Center in Kuwait. This course involved more than 30 participants from the region and aimed to raise awareness of the criticality of energy’s role in national security and the fragility and vulnerabilities of critical energy infrastructure. Throughout the week-long course, instructors from the Naval Postgraduate School, Georgetown University, NATO’s Energy Security Center of Excellence, and NATO School Oberammergau came together to focus on enhancing participants’ understanding of the importance of critical infrastructure defense through utilizing game theory to anticipate possible threats and to devise methods of hardening potential targets before adversaries, or the elements, are able to exploit weaknesses to critical energy infrastructure. 

This course was co-organized by the Kuwaiti authorities, Naval Postgraduate School, the NATO School in Oberammergau, the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence in Vilnius, NATO’s Emerging Security Challenges Division, and with the support of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Program. It demonstrates the success of the NATO ICI Regional Center as a regional hub for energy training and education cooperation between NATO and its ICI partners in the Persian Gulf, including Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Qatar.  

Dr. Dan Nussbaum, Principal of the EAG, emphasized the importance of this course, stating that “Critical Energy Infrastructure Resilience is an important topic to the Navy, particularly for islanded and remote locations, because the Navy relies on these locations for logistical support. For this reason, EAG has been working to develop a short-course focused on this topic, and the program in Kuwait provided EAG a great opportunity to pilot this material with our NATO partners.” EAG continues to enhance its course offerings and, at the request of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), is planning to head to the U.S. Virgin Islands in late March—along with two NPS students—to work with local authorities on assessing critical energy infrastructure decimated by the 2017 hurricane season (see full article on front page). Courses such as this assist local authorities in understanding how to invest limited time and resources to ensure local critical infrastructure is more resilient to withstand future storms, while concurrently meeting NPS’s cores mission of Naval education and research

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Ray Mabus

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