WHINSEC Soldiers Graduate Print
Friday, 01 June 2007 00:00
Soldiers stood at attention as they awaited to receive their diplomas.

The 2007 class at WHINSEC, graduated another 45 soldiers from eight countries.

"This is our longest course we call it our crown jewel because the officers that attend this course are the up and coming future leaders of military and police organizations in our hemisphere," said Institute Commander Colonel Gilberto Perez.

Students from Latin American countries come to Fort Benning for terrorism and interrogation training, along with human rights instruction.

But every year thousands of others come to Columbus claiming WHINSEC trains assassins and terrorists. So far four countries have left WHINSEC, Costa Rica being the latest.

WHINSEC's commander calls it an unfortunate decision.

"Well it's a political decision that was made by a sovereign nation that has every right to choose where their soldiers and police are being trained," said Perez.

WHINSEC has also come under scrutiny from U.S. congressional leaders as well. Last year a bill to close the facility lost by just 15 votes in the house.

At graduation--students say they appreciate what they learn...everything from getting acquainted with U.S. customs and cultures through trips to local, state and national governments.

Graduate Major Dustin Schultz said her experience at Fort Benning was great.

"We've had a wonderful year with a wide variety of officers from the hemisphere and the brotherhood and the peace and just the knowledge we've shared over this year culturally and academically-it's been absolutely outstanding," said Shultz.

Other countries to withdraw participation with WHINSEC include Venezeula, Uruguay amd Argentina.

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Last Updated on Friday, 01 June 2007 11:44