Guatemala, Arkansas National Guard partnership growing together
1 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Scott Bass (left), Deputy Director, Response and Recovery at the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management (ADEM), and Col. Derald Neubauer, the Arkansas National Guard Director of Military Support, brief members of the Guatemalan Chief of Defense team, Thursday, May 13, 2021, about their organizations' roles and responsibilities during statewide emergencies and crises during their visit to the Joint Operations Center at Robinson Maneuver Training Center in North Little Rock, Ark. Arkansas and Guatemala, paired together since 2002 in National Guard Bureau’s State Partnership Program, have a long, rich history of military and cultural exchanges that have mutually benefitted both. (Photo Credit: Zachary Lehr) VIEW ORIGINAL
Guatemala, Arkansas National Guard partnership growing together
2 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Guatemalan Col. Edgar Agustin, J3 Operations director, checks out an Enhanced Night Vision Goggle III with thermal imaging capability during a show-and-tell session with the Arkansas National Guard’s 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Maj. Gen. Walfre Carranza, Guatemala’s chief of defense, led a six-person delegation that toured Arkansas National Guard facilities May 13-15, 2021, at Robinson Maneuver Training Center in North Little Rock, Ark., and the 189th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, Ark., as part of Arkansas’ and Guatemala’s participation in the State Partnership Program. The National Guard Bureau administers the State Partnership Program, and it’s guided by State Department foreign policy goals. Arkansas and Guatemala, paired together in 2002, have a long, rich history of military and cultural exchanges that have mutually benefitted both. SPP has been building relationships for more than 25 years and now includes 82 partnerships with 89 nations around the globe. (Photo Credit: John Oldham) VIEW ORIGINAL
Guatemala, Arkansas National Guard partnership growing together
3 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Guatemalan Chief of Defense, Maj. Gen. Walfre Espana, observes May 13, 2021, a demonstration of how the operation of the Army’s Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station works. The general led a six-person delegation that toured Arkansas National Guard facilities May 13-15, 2021, at Robinson Maneuver Training Center in North Little Rock, Ark., and the 189th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, Ark., as part of Arkansas’ and Guatemala’s participation in the State Partnership Program. The National Guard Bureau administers the State Partnership Program, and it’s guided by State Department foreign policy goals. Arkansas and Guatemala, paired together in 2002, have a long, rich history of military and cultural exchanges that have mutually benefitted both. SPP has been building relationships for more than 25 years and now includes 82 partnerships with 89 nations around the globe. (Photo Credit: John Oldham) VIEW ORIGINAL
Guatemala, Arkansas National Guard partnership growing together
4 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Guatemalan Chief of Defense, Maj. Gen. Walfre Carranza, led a six-person delegation that toured Arkansas National Guard facilities May 13-15, 2021, at Robinson Maneuver Training Center in North Little Rock, Ark., and the 189th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, Ark., as part of Arkansas’ and Guatemala’s participation in the State Partnership Program. The National Guard Bureau administers the State Partnership Program, and it’s guided by State Department foreign policy goals. Arkansas and Guatemala, paired together in 2002, have a long, rich history of military and cultural exchanges that have mutually benefitted both. SPP has been building relationships for more than 25 years and now includes 82 partnerships with 89 nations around the globe. Pictured from Guatemala are GTM Chief of Defense, Maj. Gen. Walfre Omar Carranza Espana, GTM TRADOC Commander, Col. Romeo Edelberto Nerio Flores, GTM Operations Director, Col. Edgar Alberto Agustin Morales, GTM Air Chie (Photo Credit: Lt. Col. Brian Mason) VIEW ORIGINAL
Guatemala, Arkansas National Guard partnership growing together
5 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – (L-R) Guatemalan Cols. Miguel Orozco, J2 Intelligence director; Edgar Agustin, J3 Operations director; and Romeo Nerio, Training command director; examine an RQ-11 Raven unmanned aircraft used for low-altitude reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition operated by the Arkansas National Guard’s 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Maj. Gen. Walfre Carranza, Guatemala’s chief of defense, led a six-person delegation that toured Arkansas National Guard facilities May 13-15, 2021, at Robinson Maneuver Training Center in North Little Rock, Ark., and the 189th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, Ark., as part of Arkansas’ and Guatemala’s participation in the State Partnership Program. The National Guard Bureau administers the State Partnership Program, and it’s guided by State Department foreign policy goals. Arkansas and Guatemala, paired together in 2002, have a long, rich history of military and cultural exchanges that have mutually benefitted both. SPP has been building relationships for more than 25 years and now includes 82 partnerships with 89 nations around the globe. (Photo Credit: John Oldham) VIEW ORIGINAL
Guatemala, Arkansas National Guard partnership growing together
6 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Maj. Gen. Kendall Penn (right), the Arkansas National Guard Adjutant General, speaks with Maj. Gen Walfre Omar Carranza España, the Guatemalan Chief of Defense, Thursday, May 13, 2021, during a briefing about the Arkansas National Guard’s role and responsibilities during statewide emergencies and crises during their visit to the Joint Operations Center at Robinson Maneuver Training Center in North Little Rock, Ark. Arkansas and Guatemala, paired together since 2002 in National Guard Bureau’s State Partnership Program, have a long, rich history of military and cultural exchanges that have mutually benefitted both. (Photo Credit: Zachary Lehr) VIEW ORIGINAL

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas National Guard and its State Partnership Program counterpart, Guatemala, resumed face-to-face exchanges May 12-15 after a year of virtual exchanges due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Led by Maj. Gen. Walfre Omar Carranza Espana, the Guatemalan chief of defense, the six-person delegation toured Arkansas National Guard facilities at Robinson Maneuver Training Center in North Little Rock, Ark., and the 189th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, Ark.

The group received briefings about the Arkansas National Guard, the 233rd Regional Training Institute, 188th Wing operations, 189th Airlift Wing operations, 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team operations, and a joint briefing conducted by the Director of Military Support and Arkansas Division of Emergency Management. The Guatemalan delegation also provided a briefing to Arkansas National Guard senior leaders.

The visit was the general’s first since assuming his current position. “It was a very fruitful visit that will continue to strengthen our partnership with the Arkansas National Guard for years to come,” the general said. “In the name of Guatemala, I want to thank Maj. Gen. Kendall Penn and the Arkansas team for a great visit.”

Arkansas’ adjutant general echoed those sentiments. "Arkansas and Guatemala have been partners under the State Partnership Program for almost 20 years," he said. "The program has provided both organizations the ability to share tactics, techniques and procedures, and lessons learned. Our meeting this week will help us move forward and continues the good working relationship built by Guardsmen and Guatemalan military members over the years."

The National Guard Bureau administers SPP, and it’s guided by State Department foreign policy goals. Arkansas and Guatemala were paired together in 2002 and have a long, rich history of military and cultural exchanges that have been mutually beneficial to both entities. SPP has been building relationships for more than 25 years and now includes 82 partnerships with 89 nations around the globe.

“The Arkansas National Guard stands ready to be part of the whole-of-government approach to security cooperation efforts in Guatemala by the U.S embassy’s Office of Security Cooperation,” said Maj. Alejandro Saenz, Arkansas National Guard State Partnership Program director. “We appreciate the support from the embassy’s OSC because they’re always supporting the Arkansas-Guatemala partnership in their daily interactions with senior Guatemalan leaders.”

The pandemic squashed most face-to-face meetings between the two countries over the past year.

“It was a whole new ball game for the Guatemalans and us,” the major said.

To keep growing the relationship, they employed online options last year, which proved to be very effective.

“Virtual engagements will not go away,” he said. “We will leverage virtual events to help shape and make face-to-face events more beneficial to both best utilizing our resources.”

A handful of Arkansas Army and Air Guardsmen from the 39th IBCT and 188th Wing visited Guatemala for four days last month to share best practices with the Guatemalans on how to employ the RQ-11 Raven unmanned aerial vehicle, and how American forces analyze imagery from similar platforms.

Guatemala employs the low-altitude reconnaissance craft for drug interdiction missions to identify where cartels are growing fields of poppy plants that become heroin, and coca plants that become cocaine.

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