By Olga Ruzhelneyk
On June, 21th, 2017, on the third day of the 52nd International Paris Air Show, Défense Conseil International (DCI) invited us for a press conference dedicated to the celebration of its 45th birthday. The conference was held by the chairman and CEO of DCI Jean-Michel Palagos with a presence of Deputy CEO Julia Maris, Director of DCI-COFRAS Patrick Tanguy, Director of Henri Rouby, Director of Innovation Armelle Le Veu Seroude, and Director of Communication 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 forces’ 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 countries friendly with France with customized solutions for personnel training and equipment maintenance. 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 defense sector. DCI is focusing on the key issues, like supporting the upsurge in the innovation division’s activities: training engineering (digital learning), cyber defense, airborne surveillance, UAVs, 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 delivery 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 defense and security services”, said Mr. Palagos.
Answering the questions asked throughout the press conference, Mr. Palagos and other members of the DCI board explained that all their training centers, even though some are located abroad and 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 achieve this goal, DCI have significantly invested in innovative and modern learning tools and facilities and has put in place new ways to develop its activities. Self-improvement plays a very important role for DCI: the innovation department have been created as an internal start-ups incubator to offer innovative activities a positive environment and anticipate issues that might occur. The assumption here is clear – “Creativity suggests liberty”, as Mr Palagos summarised.