Program Spotlight: State Partnership Program
The State Partnership Program (SPP) has been successfully building relationships for over 20 years linking a US state's National Guard with the armed forces or equivalent of a partner country in a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship.
The SPP evolved from a 1991 U.S. European Command decision to set up the Joint Contact Team Program in the Baltic Region with Reserve component Soldiers and Airmen. A subsequent National Guard Bureau proposal paired U.S. states with three nations emerging from the former Soviet Bloc and the SPP was born, becoming a key U.S. security cooperation tool, facilitating cooperation across all aspects of international civil-military affairs and encouraging people-to-people ties at the state level."
The program is administered by the National Guard Bureau, guided by State Department foreign policy goals, and executed by the state adjutants general in support of combatant commander and U.S. Chief of Mission security cooperation objectives and Department of Defense policy goals.
Through SPP, the National Guard conducts military-to-military engagements in support of defense security goals but also leverages whole-of-society relationships and capabilities to facilitate broader interagency and corollary engagements spanning military, government, economic and social spheres.
To date the SPP program has fostered 68 state partnerships with countries like Senegal, Vietnam, Armenia, Macedonia and many more. So even in the National Guard, you'll want to get #CultureReady.
To learn more about the program, click here.