French Navy Rear Admiral Gilles Humeau, deputy chief of staff of operations at Allied Joint Force Command Naples, answers questions from International School of Naples students during their visit to JFC Naples, Feb. 20, 2018. (Photo by French Navy Chief Petty Officer Sébastien Laurent)
NAPLES, Italy – More than 75 students and faculty from the International School of Naples got a taste of NATO life as they spent a day touring Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Feb. 20, 2018.
According to the school’s website, The International School of Naples, founded in 1964, is a leading international college preparatory school for students from around the globe. Diana Sodano, community relations director at JFC Naples, said the visit of the students to JFC Naples is an example of NATO’s efforts to establish a good cultural and social exchange with the external community and to strengthen the relationship with local and regional institutions.
The high school students were able to get an overview on a variety of topics to include the structure, history, mission and goals of JFC Naples.
"It’s interesting the way NATO is so international and so unified between the countries,” said Ilaria Xia, a Chinese-Italian senior.
Ginevra Beretta, a sophomore originally from Milan, agreed.
"There aren’t any countries that are left out,” said Beretta. "When they make decisions, they ask all the countries.”
It wasn’t just one-way discussions about the Joint Operations Center, NATO partners, and procedures that occurred. The students also came equipped with thoughtful questions.
"Is NATO stronger now than in 1949?” asked one student referencing the year when the Washington Treaty that created the organization was signed. "What happens if two NATO members have a conflict?” asked a student while another inquired about the role of NATO in the future.
French Navy Rear Admiral Gilles Humeau, deputy chief of staff of operations at JFC Naples, spoke with the students during their visit to the headquarters, and he answered a question from a student regarding upcoming and potential threats for NATO.
"Every place in the world where democracy is in danger, where peace and stability are threatened, are concerns for us,” answered Humeau.
Students were also given a glimpse into the recreational and family benefits offered to servicemembers at JFC Naples such as the community center, fitness center and pool areas.
"Since I’m not related to NATO in any way, it’s really interesting to see how it works,” said Mieko Yamamoto, a senior from Japan who aims to study sociology at a U.K. university next year.
Freshman Ingrid Asandei came to Naples from Romania two years ago when her father was reassigned to JFC Naples, and she was impressed with how organized the headquarters appeared.
"I never understood until coming here,” Asandei said.
It wasn’t just students hailing from around the globe that were impressed with the tour, though. There was also a bit of hometown pride on display.
"I was proud,” said Naples native and freshman Chiara Cusumano after being told that Italians made up 21 percent of the military personnel at JFC Naples. "There was so much I learned and many other things being done here that help protect the whole world.”
Story by JFC Naples Public Affairs Office