Marshall Center Postpones April Events as part of COVID-19 Preventive Measures

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Marshall Center Postpones April Events as part of COVID-19 Preventive Measures

By Christine June
Public Affairs Office
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

(NOTE: These April events listed in this press release were officially canceled March 24.)

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (March 17, 2020)The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies announced March 17 the postponement of two resident events as part of the preventive measures against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that the Marshall Center began March 9.

The Marshall Center is a 26-year-old, German-American defense studies institute based here.     

The two resident events are the Countering Transnational Organized Crime, Pan-American Transnational Organized Crime: An Existential Threat to Europe, scheduled for April 20 to 23, and European Security Seminar-East, scheduled from April 27 to May 1.

This announcement comes a day after the Bavarian State Government’s Minister-President Dr. Markus Söder declared a disaster for all of Bavaria and imposed restrictions to curtail the spread of COVID-19. Some of these restrictions are closures of schools and childcare facilities, retail stores and public leisure and entertainment facilities, and limiting operating hours for restaurants and encouraging takeout options.

Soon after and aligning to the Bavarian government’s declaration, the 7th Army Training Commanding General, U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Christopher Norrie directed the implementation of increased response measures to protect Soldiers, Civilians, Families and Communities within the command’s Area of Responsibility, which includes the Marshall Center.

“We feel that postponing these events is the right thing to do to protect our staff and faculty, and participants and to align with the measures enacted by the State of Bavaria and 7th ATC,” said the Marshall Center Director, retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith W. Dayton.

This decision, as well as the ones to cancel resident events on March 9 and 13, was in consultation with the Marshall Center’s German Element, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency and U.S. Army Europe.

“Fortunately, there is currently no evidence of the coronavirus disease at the Marshall Center. Our intention is to keep it that way,” said the Marshall Center Director, retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith W. Dayton, at the time of the first announcement March 9.

To date, there still has not been a case reported at the Marshall Center, Dayton said.

The Marshall Center announced March 9 the cancellation of two resident courses, and its Partner Language Training Center Europe followed suit on March 13 with the cancellation of three courses.

The two canceled Marshall Center resident courses were the Program on Countering Transnational Organized Crime, scheduled from March 17 to April 8, and the Cyber Global Workshop, scheduled from March 10 to 12.

The canceled PLTCE courses were Language Enhancement Course, from Feb.17 to March 20, Language for Diplomacy, from March 5 to 26, and Advanced Language Testing Course, from March 2 to 20.

Dayton said that he is looking into whether or not the Marshall Center and PLTCE will need to cancel or postpone any other resident events and language courses.

“We will continue to monitor the situation, as well as our ability to support individuals should they contract the virus,” he said. “We expect things will become clearer in the coming weeks, and we will evaluate each upcoming event based on the information available.”

The Marshall Center is a leading transatlantic defense educational institution.  Operating since 1993 as a German-American partnership, the Marshall Center offers post-graduate courses, conferences, research programs, foreign area studies, and language courses to civilian and military professionals from around the world. To date, the Marshall Center has an alumni network of more than 14,000 security professionals from 157 countries. 

The mission of the Marshall Center is to enable solutions to regional and transnational security challenges through capacity building, access, and a globally connected network.

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