TRENTON, N.J. – The New Jersey National Guard has been selected as the new state partner for the Republic of Cyprus, the third-largest island in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Through the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program, National Guard units throughout the United States conduct military-to-military engagements, guided by State Department foreign policy goals, and develop person-to-person ties with their partners.
"Global partnerships are more important than ever before," said Gov. Philip D. Murphy. "Our New Jersey National Guard service members are tried-and-true leaders on the military and civic fronts. They work hard every day to ensure peace and safety, both at home and abroad, and will bring that same dedication and collective expertise to this partnership."
The Republic of Cyprus is New Jersey's second SPP partner. The New Jersey National Guard recently marked 21 years of partnership with the Republic of Albania.
"I am excited to welcome the Republic of Cyprus to the New Jersey family," said Brig. Gen. Lisa J. Hou, D.O., the adjutant general of New Jersey. "As a longstanding participant in the State Partnership Program, we bring experience and motivation to every engagement, as well as steadfast commitment to the principles of freedom and security."
Celeste Wallander, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, met last month with Marios Lysiotis, the Republic of Cyprus's ambassador to the United States, to officially announce that the Republic of Cyprus was paired with the New Jersey National Guard.
This selection demonstrates the growing partnership between the Republic of Cyprus and the United States on maritime security, counterterrorism, and natural disaster and emergency response.
The strategic location of the Republic of Cyprus and its European Union membership and support for Western democratic principles make it an important partner for the United States.
Advocates from more than a dozen U.S. civic, commercial, and academic organizations supported the match between New Jersey and the Republic of Cyprus.
More than 8,300 Citizen-Soldiers and Citizen-Airmen of the New Jersey National Guard serve in many hometown and overseas missions.