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Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith W. Dayton, director of the Marshall Center, hosted the Partner Language Training Center Europe staff in his office for a group photo to commemorate the successful conclusion of a multiyear NATO accreditation process Aug. 22. (DOD photo by Karl-Heinz Wedhorn)

By Keith L. Wert
Director, Partner Language Training Center Europe

George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (Aug. 22, 2018) – Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith W. Dayton, director of the Marshall Center, hosted the Partner Language Training Center Europe staff in his office for a group photo to commemorate the successful conclusion of a multiyear NATO accreditation process Aug. 22.

PLTCE was recognized as a Partner Training and Education Centre in 2014 and applied for an accreditation study by the NATO Allied Command Transformation Joint Force Trainer in December 2016. 

After completing and submitting an extensive self-study effort according to NATO ACT guidelines in October 2017, an evaluation team of quality assurance experts conducted an on-site visit in November 2017.  Accreditation was granted this month.

NATO Education and Training Facilities are comprised overwhelmingly of national contributions, such as PLTCE. 

The objective of the NATO ACT quality assurance effort is to foster standardized quality processes for curriculum development, instruction and school house operations that ensure courses delivered for NATO requirements will meet high levels of excellence. 

Even actual NATO schools, such as the NATO School Oberammergau, undergo this evaluation.  

The bottom line is that PLTCE courses that meet NATO requirements will become "NATO Approved" and this designation will assist in maintaining NATO subsidies for attendance by "eligible" partner countries and will also provide additional rationale for attendance by PLTCE's many self-payer countries.

Before the photo, Keith Wert, PLTCE director, highlighted the many contributions leading to the successful conclusion.

"You have heard of whole-of-government – this was whole-of-PLTCE. Everybody had a piece, including people outside of PLTCE who came into help, such as Public Affairs,” Wert said.

Dayton added, "You guys are the hidden jewel of the Marshall Center. When people think of the Marshall Center they rarely think of PLTCE until they come here, until they realize all the things you do that is not visible to everybody here every day.  You add that extra thing that people do not expect, and you do it very well.  I thought it was going to be a cake walk too, but it was anything but. Thank you all because this is indeed a team effort."