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U.S. Army Africa works with the National Guard's State Partnership Program in several venues on the African continent. (U.S. Army Africa photos)


National Guard’s State Partnership Program helps build relationships with African nations

Feb. 12, 2013 — By U.S. Army Africa Public Affairs

VICENZA, Italy – A novel and flexible program managed by the National Guard is assisting U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Africa to create and maintain relationships with African partner nations.

Known as the State Partnership Program, 54 states and territories are matched with countries around the globe to support U.S. national interests and security cooperation goals. National Guard organizations from eight states are matched with African partner nations. For example the North Dakota National Guard is partnered with Ghana Armed Forces and the California Guard is paired with Nigeria.

In January, USARAF Commander Maj. Gen. Patrick J. Donahue II attended an SPP Conference for Africa in Warren, Mich. More than 40 representatives from eight states and several commands such as AFRICOM, USARAF and National Guard Bureau attended the conference.

“The SPP conference was designed to generate dialogue and collaboration between USARAF and state partners, with a goal of synchronizing our efforts in support of developing our African army partners,” Donahue said.

Working with long and short term goals in mind, the program is divided by regional area of responsibilities and linked to combatant commands known as COCOMs, and include National Guard personnel from both Army and Air Force. AFRICOM is connected to eight National Guard states: California, Michigan, North Carolina, North Dakota, New York, Utah, Vermont and Wyoming.

According to California National Guard State Partnership Director, Capt. Clayton Smith, the California Air National Guard is currently working with the Nigerian Air Force to improve their C-130 fleet.

READ FULL STORY | VIEW MORE PHOTOS | Southern Accord 2012    



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