By Staff Sgt. Lonnie Wiram | 181st Intelligence WingSeptember 12, 2018
HULMAN FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ind.- Members of the Nigerien armed forces visited the 181st Intelligence Wing (IW) for a State Partnership Program (SPP) meeting at Hulman Field Air National Guard Base, Terre Haute, Indiana, on Aug. 28.
The National Guard SPP is an innovative Department of Defense (DOD) joint security cooperation program. The program is administered by the National Guard Bureau, guided by State Department foreign policy goals, and executed by the state adjutants general in support of DOD policy goals.
"The main objective of this partnership is to build our capacity," said Colonel-Major Mahamane Laminiou Sani, director of intelligence, Nigerien armed forces."We need to get the right number of people that can react quickly, professionally and efficiently."
The SPP links the Indiana National Guard with the armed forces of Niger in a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship by means of tailored, small footprint, high-impact security cooperation engagements that foster long-term enduring relationships with U.S. friends and allies around the world.
"This partnership will benefit both nations in areas of military and civilian interests such as Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response, counter narcotic operations, border security, health and academia," said U.S. Air Force Col. Christopher R. Alderdice, commander, 181st IW, Indiana Air National Guard."By linking Indiana with designated partner countries like Niger, the SPP aims to promote security, enhance defense capabilities, improve interoperability, and enhance the principles of responsible governance."
"This program is important because it strengthens the relationship between the U.S. and the partnering country," said U.S. Air Force Maj. John Petrowski, 181st IW, Indiana Air National Guard."We identify their training needs and tailor to them to provide effective education. We learn from them as much as they learn from us."
During a recent celebration of the 10-year anniversary of U.S. Africa Command and the 25th year of the State Partnership Program, Maj. Gen. Courtney P. Carr stressed the importance of the partnership of Indiana and Niger.
"We are honored to have the opportunity to work side-by-side with our state partner of Niger to build our African partner's defense capability and promote security, stability and prosperity for the region," said Carr. "It is a great honor to work with the Niger Defense Force and have the opportunity to train together with our new partners."
Carr and his leadership team toured the state along with the members of Nigerien armed forces during their trip to the Hoosier State.