Skip to main content
Camel sitting in sand against night sky.
Main content

NATO's Extended Hand Program

Five Belgian Royal Naval Academy Students in Uniform

Through a partnership with Penn State and NATO’s Allied Command Transformation - Future Solutions branch, the Extended Hands program leverages technology to foster understanding through dialogue across cultures in vastly different parts of the world. Extended Hand pairs cadets and military personnel from NATO nations with civilians in conflict-torn regions to have cross-cultural exchanges.

The program operates on two core principles:

  1. Military personnel plan and conduct missions with greater efficacy when they have the skills to effectively communicate and build trust with civilian populations in operational theaters.
  2. Operational success of missions is correlated with civilian support and understanding of those missions.

The program can be tailored to any NATO nation's needs to accomplish any of the following:

  • Cultural Awareness and Education
  • Cross-cultural communication skills development
  • Mission-specific situational awareness development
  • Conflict prevention and resolution
  • Foreign Language Training
  • Real-time problem solving through communication
  • Improve decision-making capacity
  • Acclimatization prior to deployment


Townscape of Uchisar, Cappadocia, Turkey