KIGALI, Rwanda - The Nebraska National Guard and the Rwanda Defence Force will formalize a new partnership Dec. 12, becoming the newest partners in the Defense Department's State Partnership Program (SPP)."The Nebraska National Guard is honored to have a new state partnership and build an even stronger relationship between the United States and Rwanda," said Air Force Maj. Gen. Daryl L. Bohac, Nebraska National Guard adjutant general. "I know that the training opportunities, cultural experiences and professional exchange of ideas that the SPP makes possible will benefit both the Nebraska National Guard and Rwanda for years to come."The Nebraska National Guard partnership with the Rwanda Defence Force will lay the foundation for a long-term relationship by sharing expertise in emergency and disaster response, as well as strengthening cooperation in peacekeeping operations and readiness, Nebraska National Guard officials said. Rwanda is quite familiar with the latter task, contributing more troops each year to United Nations peacekeeping missions than all but a few much larger countries."I am proud to see the growing collaboration between Rwanda and Nebraska," said U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda Peter H. Vrooman. "This new state partnership, like the impressive investments that Nebraskans are making here in conservation agriculture, will be rewarding for the people of both countries.""The Rwanda Defence Force is eager to partner with Nebraska National Guard to exchange knowledge and experience in areas such as the capacity building of our defense forces, disaster management and other areas of cooperation that will benefit our citizens," said Lt. Col. Innocent Munyengango, RDF spokesperson.The State Partnership Program is administered by the National Guard Bureau and supports theater commanders' security cooperation objectives.The program has been successfully building mutually beneficial relationships around the globe for over 25 years. Nebraska and Rwanda will be the 77th partnership under the SPP.