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National Guard State Partnership Program

What is it?
The National Guard's State Partnership Program partners states with foreign nations to promote and enhance bilateral relations. It supports homeland defense by nurturing dependable collaborative partners for coalition operations during this era of persistent conflict. This program links 59 countries to 48 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 a myriad of activities including bilateral familiarization and training events, exercises, fellowship-style internships, and civic leader visits. All activities are coordinated through the theater combatant commanders, ambassadors' country teams, and other agencies as appropriate, to ensure that National Guard support meets our national objectives.

What has the Army done?
Recent accomplishments and activities include:

  • The program added new partnerships between North Carolina and Botswana; Vermont and Senegal; and Oregon with Bangladesh.
  • Providing combatant commanders and ambassadors with avenues for building international civil-military partnerships and interoperability during peacetime by linking state capacities to the goals and objectives in the foreign assistance framework of the U.S. Government.
  • Enhancing current and future coalition operations by encouraging and assisting partner nations to support efforts such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Operational Mentor and Liaison Team program in Afghanistan and exercises supporting the Southeast Asian region.
  • Building more cultural and global awareness into Soldiers and airmen to help them operate in today's complex multi-national and multi-agency operations.

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. National 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 that result in greater security for all Americans.

 
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