PHOENIX — The Arizona National Guard announced a new partnership with the Sultanate of Oman on Oct. 13 through the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program.
“Arizona has extensive land, air and emergency management experience that closely aligns with the capabilities, challenges and goals of Oman,” said Maj. Gen. Kerry L. Muehlenbeck, director of Arizona’s Department of Emergency and Military Affairs. “We are excited to welcome this partnership and look forward to the collaboration and establishment of enduring relationships for years to come.”
Next year marks the 30th anniversary of the program, which now includes more than 90 nations paired with states to build mutually beneficial, durable partnerships that support each nation’s strategic goals.
Arizona was one of the first states to join the cooperative program and has partnered with the Republic of Kazakhstan since 1993. That relationship will also continue.
“Our state partnership with Oman will offer a new perspective in working, deploying, training and learning together,” said Col. Pete Caffrey, State Partnership Program coordinator. “Our investments into relationships like that with Oman and Kazakhstan will sustain future advantages and strengthen our network of security.”
The National Guard conducts military-to-military engagements to build partner capacity, improve interoperability and enhance U.S. access and influence while increasing the readiness of U.S. and partner forces. The program has become a key security cooperation tool by facilitating cooperation across international civil-military affairs, as well as people-to-people ties.
“It allows our Soldiers and Airmen to really visit a lot of other countries,” Lt. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said of the State Partnership Program. “To look at the environment that they operate in, and to really see, in many cases, the same problems — just approached from a different angle. We learn a lot in those countries and in those interactions that we bring back to make our organizations better, and I like to think vice versa.”
The Sultanate of Oman, an Arabian country off the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, is home to almost 4 million people. It borders Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen while sharing maritime borders with Iran and Pakistan. Oman’s military, known as the Sultan of Oman’s Armed Forces, consists of Army, Navy, Air Force, Royal Guard and other defense forces.
Officials with the Arizona National Guard and the Sultanate of Oman are coordinating an official signing ceremony to celebrate their partnership.