International Academic and Aeronautical Training Centre: Saudi cadets in preparation for French military top-ranking colleges

Défense Conseil International (DCI), the reference operator of the French Ministry of Defence for the transfer of military know-how to international partners, is currently preparing 16 Saudi cadets – two classes of eight trainees – at its International Academic and Aeronautical Training Centre (CIF-AA). They will subsequently attend French military academies, where they will follow the same training that French officer cadets.

This preparation and the training in French military schools are part of the defence cooperation between the two countries. At the CIF-AA and in partnership with the French Air Force Academy, DCI offers a 2-year academic and military preparation based on the excellence of the competences of the French Air Force. The two years of training comprises French language classes, plus military and sports training.

Jean-Michel Palagos, CEO of DCI, underlines: “I am proud that DCI is offering, via the CIF-AA, a comprehensive, international selection of academic training courses in line with the expectations of countries friendly with France, and Saudi Arabia in particular. The success of these training courses demonstrates the recognition of the high level of excellence of French military know-how which our Saudi partners are seeking to acquire by enrolling their student officers for these courses for the second time.

At the end of this preparatory period, foreign student officers have two options:

  • Enter the Saint-Cyr Military Academy
  • Follow the French Air Force Academy’s undergraduate programme, under a partnership between the French Air Force Academy and Aix-Marseille University, via the CLEA (Air Force Academy Bachelor programme, in French) or the CIEA (Air Force Academy International Programme, in English).

The CIEA developed in 2015 according with the wish of the deputy chief of staff of the French Air Force and. The programme, which is identical to the CLEA, is entirely in English and leads to a Bachelor degree. Its objective is to train in English classes comprising French and foreign student officers.