SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. ? U.S. Army Central hosted a State Partnership Program information exchange last month for assistant adjutant generals from South Carolina, Arizona, Colorado, Mississippi, Montana and Virginia.
The SPP serves the Department of Defense as an innovative, low-cost, small footprint security cooperation program, and enhances combatant commanders? ability to build strong military relationships.
The Feb. 26 exchange, hosted by USARCENT?s Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. David P. Glaser, focused on campaign plans, country objectives, funding and methods to enhance the program in the future.
SPP began in 1993. Since then, the partnership program has grown and now includes more than 22 states partnered with 74 countries for a total of 68 state partnerships across all six combatant commands, to include five in the U.S. Central Command area of operation.
?The State Partnership Program represents the best that National Guard states can do with combatant commands to shape the global security environment,? said Brig. Gen. John Burk, the Arizona National Guard deputy land component commander. ?The National Guard provides robust and diverse capabilities to combatant commanders to execute theater security cooperation objectives, and the long-term relationships established between the states, their partners, and [combatant commands] are invaluable.?
When asked about his partnership with Kazakhstan specifically, Burk said, ?The Arizona National Guard has enjoyed a productive relationship with the Republic of Kazakhstan for nearly 25 years and enabled USARCENT and U.S. Central Command to attain their regional security objectives in Central Asia.?