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Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management mobile education team travels to Sofia, Bulgaria. (Education and Training).

Bulgaria has emerged as a regional leader in promoting political and economic stability and strengthening democratic institutions. In recent years, the Government of Bulgaria has made great strides in reducing inflation, promoting foreign private investment, and undertaking economic privatization and legal reforms. Bulgariais success in strengthening democracy, the rule of law and their economic foundations will help the country to more fully integrate with the greater Euro-Atlantic community.

Bulgaria has made notable progress on broad economic and political reforms in recent years

These statements from the State Department 2002 Congressional Budget Justification for Foreign Operations give a strong indication why DISAM was invited back once again to teach the Security Assistance Management Planning and Resource Management (SAM-P) Course in July, 2002. The course had been presented twice before in Sofia, in 1997 and also in 1999.

The DISAM team arrived in Sofia on 11 July to begin their preparations for the course. The members of the instructional team were Ms Virginia Caudill, DISAM Director of Management Studies, and Dr. Larry Mortsolf, Professor Emeritus. They were accompanied by Ms. Helen Brinkley, DISAM assistant librarian, for administrative assistance. Dr. Mortsolf, the former DISAM Deputy Commandant, who came out of retirement to teach in this course, had taught in Sofia during the 1999 DISAM MET.

Twenty-eight students from the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense (MOD) and Armed Forces successfully completed the course from 15 through 19 July. Colonel Dimitar Dimitrov, the Deputy Director of the Armaments Policy Directorate, outlined the importance of the course in his opening remarks. He explained that the MOD is currently undergoing a Force Modernization study that includes recommendations for a process of equipment modernization and a review of the defense industrial base, along with recommendations on the design, implementation and sustainment of a force management system to include acquisition and force integration subsystems. He further stressed the importance of adjusting to new management models and the value of education and training to learn alternative ways of supporting the programs of the Bulgarian military.

Members of the Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) provided outstanding assistance to the DISAM MET in both administrative and academic support. The Deputy ODC Chief, Sergeant First Class Mattie Poteat, augmented the instruction by presenting an overview of the ODC responsibilities and activities. The ODC role as a liaison activity was emphasized throughout the course of instruction. In addition, Ms. Emilia Jelyazkova, the ODC training and administrative assistant, made a presentation on training management issues. Along with other valuable insights, she advised the class on what is involved at the ODC in administratively processing students for attendance at courses in the United States under the International Military Education and Training (IMET) Program. The success of the DISAM course was a result of close coordination between the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense, the ODC in Sofia and DISAM.

About the Author

Virginia K. Caudill is the Director of Management Studies at the Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management, where she has been an associate professor for thirteen years. She came to DISAM with over fifteen years of security assistance experience in program management, acquisition, logistics and financial management with the United States Air Force. She has a Master of Arts Degree in public administration and international programs from the University of Dayton, in Dayton, Ohio and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language and Linguistics from the University of the Americas in Mexico. She is also a former Peace Corps volunteer.
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Author:Caudill, Virginia K.
Publication:DISAM Journal
Date:Jun 22, 2002
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