By Olga Ruzhelnyk
On June 21, 2017, on the third day of the 52nd International Paris Air Show, Défense Conseil International (DCI) invited us for a press conference at the DCI Chalet dedicated to the celebration of its 45th birthday. The conference was held by the CEO of DCI Jean-Michel Palagos with a presence of Deputy Director General Julia Maris, General Director of DCI-COFRAS Patrick Tanguy, Executive Vice-President Henri Rouby, Director of Innovations Armelle Le Veu Seroude, and Director of Communications Karine Leprêtre.
Mr Palagos presented to the journalists the evolution of DCI over the last 45 years and the digital transformation of the company towards new training methods. It was shown that DCI became the reference operator for the transfer of the French armed force’s know-how to international partners, offering services that are certified “French Forces Training”. DCI operates several international training centres in France and has its headquarters in Paris. Moreover, due to its capacity-based approach, DCI provides with customised solutions for personnel training and equipment maintenance to other friends countries. Thus, it is also based in the Middle-East (Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar) and in Asia (Malaysia and Singapore).
Over the course of last years, DCI has been developing increasingly innovative solutions for companies in the defence sector. DCI is focusing on the key issues, like developments to support the upsurge in the innovation division’s activities: training engineering (digital learning), cyber defence, airborne surveillance, UAV’s, military healthcare, oil logistics and European and international institutions.
“It has been an extraordinary adventure for DCI. The company was born 45 years ago in Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom bought a considerable number of AMX-30 battle tanks from our Army. Saudi Arabia required not only the delivering of those tanks but as well training its crew handling and maintenance of these vehicles. And that is when the brilliant idea appeared to create COFRAS (Compagnie Française d’Assistance Spécialisée) under the auspices of the French State, which later became DCI. Ever since it has become a guidance line for DCI – providing French know-how to the countries that are friendly with France. For 45 years, DCI has been offering consulting, training and assistance in all aspects of defence and security services”, said Mr Palagos.
Responding to the questions asked throughout the press conference, Mr Palagos and other members of the DCI board explained that all of their training centres, even though they are located in different countries, do not compete with each other, but work in synergy. The company cherishes the idea of promoting NATO standards to non-NATO members in the best way possible. In order to implement this goal, DCI follows an on-going process of self-development and successful keeping pace with the world’s innovations. Self-improvement plays a very important role for DCI, and if some requirement does not naturally go within the existing departments, the internal start-ups have been created to solve any problem that might occur. The principal here is clear – “Creativity suggests liberty”, as Mr Palagos summarised.