One hundred six Fellows graduated from the Advance Security Cooperation Course (ASC) 18-2 Oct. 24, with broader perspectives and a newly developed common understanding of the challenges and opportunities to security in the region and enhanced networks of cooperation. U.S. and international Fellows from 34 locations took part in this course’s latest iteration (ASC 18-2) Sept. 20 – Oct. 24.

ASC is an executive education program enabling mid- to senior-level military and civilian leaders to deepen their understanding of the complex security environment in the Indo-Pacific region.

The ASC 18-2 curriculum offered 24 plenary topical discussions that survey the regional strategic landscape and address key regional security issues such as maritime security, countering violent extremism, disaster response, regional security architecture and emerging technologies and 25 electives on topics like geopolitics, the media, environmental security, and women, peace and security. Through a series of exercises, which culminated in a simulated negotiation over a hypothetical crisis in the South China Sea, Fellows explored solutions to the challenging security issues of their region and applied in an engaged and practical way the knowledge and skills learned throughout the course.


ASC 18-2 Fellows were also treated to a presentation provided by DKI APCSS Alumnae of the Year, Ms. Saira Ali Ahmed. Her presentation was based on her Fellows project and was entitled “From Strategy to Reality,” a look at honor killings and their impact.

“It was a topic that touched my soul, that I think I should do something about this kind of battle,” Ahmed confided. “As I already work for women’s rights and empowerment. When I came here and I studied, and was told we have to complete one Fellows project, that was the point, let’s do this… I think I can do, so I started.”

The ASC course relied on a variety of learning formats ranging from lectures to small-group discussions to exercises. This combination and the participant-centered method enabled Fellows to learn effectively. “Five weeks of constant interaction with more than 100 fellows from more than 30 countries across the Indo-Pacific region.

“The things that strike me at APCSS is the way you could muster the resources and also the network to get people on board to think about prominent issues of regional security which are relevant to all our nations’ people, societies, and organizations,” explained Col. Thach Can Bui, Vietnam Ministry of Defense. “You’ve got the really down to earth syllabus, good people leading us through the discussions, and also, we got things out of what we were doing.”

Participants were from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, People’s Republic of China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Republic of Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, United States, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.

“During a seminar discussion Fellows discuss complex security problems to help each fellow greatly widen both the horizon of their knowledge and the network of their relationships,” said course manager Dr. Alexander Vuving.

ASC is one of five formal courses at DKI APCSS. The Center is a Department of Defense institute that addresses regional and global security issues. Military and civilian representatives, most from the United States and Indo-Pacific nations, participate in a comprehensive program of executive education, professional exchanges and outreach events, both in Hawaii and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

The Center supports U.S. Indo-Pacific Command by developing and sustaining relationships among security practitioners and national security establishments throughout the region. DKI APCSS’ mission is to build capacities and communities of interest by educating, connecting and empowering security practitioners to advance Asia-Pacific security. It is one of the Department of Defense’s five regional security studies centers.

Since opening in 1995, more than 12,581 alumni representing over 100 countries and territories have attended DKI APCSS courses and workshops.

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