Lieutenant Colonel Golden Relates Program Expansion
The National Guard runs a Partnership Program that puts state National Guard forces paired with different foreign countries. Countries that are in need of civil or military advisors are coupled with National Guard units from various States. The program is about to expand into Africa as the command program reaches full capability.
The National Guard Partnership State Program is set to expand into the Pacific Ocean region as well. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Michael Golden is the leader of the National Guard program, and the chief of the National Guard International affairs Bureau. The program seeks to grow from the current 59 partnerships to around 70 partnerships over the next three years.
The program first began in 1993 in the aftermath of the Soviet Union. In an attempt to assist Eastern European Nations who needed support, Reserve and National Guard troops stepped in and helped the democracies in their early development, said Colonel Golden.
“The reason that this program is successful is that the countries are not dealing with the United States, it only has to deal with a mini version,” said Colonel Golden. “Its far less intimidating for the countries to deal with smaller units such as a National Guard Unit,” said Colonel Golden.
Areas such as search and rescue, border security, and disaster response are topics that National Guard units can provide vital help and assistance. It also gives educational, economic and other types of exchange, allowing different nations to grow and learn with support and encouragement.