State Partnership Program
What is it? The National Guard's State Partnership Program partners U.S. states with foreign nations to promote and enhance bilateral relations. It supports Homeland Defense by nurturing dependable collaborative partners for coalition operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism. 51 countries are currently linked to 44 states, 2 territories (Puerto Rico and Guam), and Washington, D.C.
The State Partnership Program reflects an evolving international affairs mission for the National Guard. It promotes regional stability and civil-military relationships in support of U.S. policy objectives. State partners actively participate in many and varied engagement activities including bilateral familiarization and training events, exercises, fellowship-style internships and civic leader visits. All activities are coordinated through the theater Combatant Commanders and the U.S. ambassadors' country teams, and other agencies as appropriate, to ensure that National Guard support meets both U.S. and country objectives.
What has the Army done? Recent accomplishments and activities include:
- Alaska provided liaison support to their partner state, Mongolia, when Mongolia deployed troops to Iraq, including deploying two embedded advisors.
- The program added new partnerships: Rhode Island with the Bahamas, Ohio with Serbia-Montenegro, and California with Nigeria.
- In 2005 the National Guard participated in over 425 events involving U.S. states and their foreign partners.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future? The partner countries are looking for more hands on engagement events, unit exchanges, and exercises as well as working with their partner states during actual operations. The National Guard seeks to satisfy this desire for deeper relationships while increasing the number of partnerships.
Why is this important to the Army? The State Partnership program enables the National Guard to further define and fulfill its collective role as a goodwill ambassador around the world. Guard members apply both military and civilian skills to foster democracy, encourage economic development, and promote regional cooperation and stability. State and Country partnerships create long-term, friendly relationships. The result is greater security for all Americans.
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