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AFRICOM and National Guard Leaders Meet to Discuss State Partnership Program
Through the State Partnership Program, the National Guard bolsters the military capacity of partner nations in Africa.
Air Force Brig. Gen. David San Clemente, deputy director for strategy, plans and program at AFRICOM, speaks to senior leaders of ten National Guard states from across the U.S., U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Africa, about strategic and long-term planning at the State Partnership Program conference in Raleigh, N.C., Jan. 26, 2016.  The service members met at the conference to discuss the long-term strategic plans and programs for AFRICOM. These plans include security force assistance programs, strengthening institutions and regional approaches to disaster preparedness. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Lisa Vines, Public Affairs Office/Released)
4 photos: AFRICOM and National Guard Leaders Meet to Discuss State Partnership Program (1) of (4)
Photo 1 of 4: Air Force Brig. Gen. David San Clemente, deputy director for strategy, plans and program at AFRICOM, speaks to senior leaders of ten National Guard states from across the U.S., U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Africa, about strategic and long-term planning at the State Partnership Program conference in Raleigh, N.C., Jan. 26, 2016. The service members met at the conference to discuss the long-term strategic plans and programs for AFRICOM. These plans include security force assistance programs, strengthening institutions and regional approaches to disaster preparedness. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Lisa Vines, Public Affairs Office/Released) Download full-resolution version
Dr. Barbara Sotirin, deputy director of programs at AFRICOM, speaks to senior leaders of 10 National Guard states from across the U.S., U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Africa about strategic and long-term planning at the State Partnership Program conference in Raleigh, N.C., on Jan. 26, 2016. The service members met at the conference to discuss the long-term strategic plans and programs for AFRICOM. These plans include security force assistance programs, strengthening institutions and regional approaches to disaster preparedness. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Lisa Vines, Public Affairs Office/ Released)
4 photos: AFRICOM and National Guard Leaders Meet to Discuss State Partnership Program (2) of (4)
Photo 2 of 4: Dr. Barbara Sotirin, deputy director of programs at AFRICOM, speaks to senior leaders of 10 National Guard states from across the U.S., U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Africa about strategic and long-term planning at the State Partnership Program conference in Raleigh, N.C., on Jan. 26, 2016. The service members met at the conference to discuss the long-term strategic plans and programs for AFRICOM. These plans include security force assistance programs, strengthening institutions and regional approaches to disaster preparedness. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Lisa Vines, Public Affairs Office/ Released) Download full-resolution version
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, the adjutant general of North Carolina, speaks to senior leaders of ten National Guard states from across the U.S, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Africa, about kicking off the State Partnership Program conference in Raleigh, N.C., Jan. 26, 2016.  The service members met at the conference to discuss the long-term strategic plans and programs for AFRICOM. These plans include security force assistance programs, strengthening institutions and regional approaches to disaster preparedness. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Lisa Vines, Public Affairs Office/Released)
4 photos: AFRICOM and National Guard Leaders Meet to Discuss State Partnership Program (3) of (4)
Photo 3 of 4: U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, the adjutant general of North Carolina, speaks to senior leaders of ten National Guard states from across the U.S, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Africa, about kicking off the State Partnership Program conference in Raleigh, N.C., Jan. 26, 2016. The service members met at the conference to discuss the long-term strategic plans and programs for AFRICOM. These plans include security force assistance programs, strengthening institutions and regional approaches to disaster preparedness. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Lisa Vines, Public Affairs Office/Released) Download full-resolution version
Senior leaders of 10 National Guard states from across the U.S., U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Africa gather to talk about strategic and long-term planning at the State Partnership Program conference in Raleigh, N.C., on Jan. 26, 2016. The service members met at the conference to discuss the long-term strategic plans and programs for AFRICOM. These plans include security force assistance programs, strengthening institutions and regional approaches to disaster preparedness. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Lisa Vines, Public Affairs Office/ Released)
4 photos: AFRICOM and National Guard Leaders Meet to Discuss State Partnership Program (4) of (4)
Photo 4 of 4: Senior leaders of 10 National Guard states from across the U.S., U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Africa gather to talk about strategic and long-term planning at the State Partnership Program conference in Raleigh, N.C., on Jan. 26, 2016. The service members met at the conference to discuss the long-term strategic plans and programs for AFRICOM. These plans include security force assistance programs, strengthening institutions and regional approaches to disaster preparedness. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Lisa Vines, Public Affairs Office/ Released) Download full-resolution version
Air Force Brig. Gen. David San Clemente, deputy director for strategy, plans and program at AFRICOM, speaks to senior leaders of ten National Guard states from across the U.S., U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Africa, about strategic and long-term planning at the State Partnership Program conference in Raleigh, N.C., Jan. 26, 2016.  The service members met at the conference to discuss the long-term strategic plans and programs for AFRICOM. These plans include security force assistance programs, strengthening institutions and regional approaches to disaster preparedness. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Lisa Vines, Public Affairs Office/Released)
Dr. Barbara Sotirin, deputy director of programs at AFRICOM, speaks to senior leaders of 10 National Guard states from across the U.S., U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Africa about strategic and long-term planning at the State Partnership Program conference in Raleigh, N.C., on Jan. 26, 2016. The service members met at the conference to discuss the long-term strategic plans and programs for AFRICOM. These plans include security force assistance programs, strengthening institutions and regional approaches to disaster preparedness. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Lisa Vines, Public Affairs Office/ Released)
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, the adjutant general of North Carolina, speaks to senior leaders of ten National Guard states from across the U.S, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Africa, about kicking off the State Partnership Program conference in Raleigh, N.C., Jan. 26, 2016.  The service members met at the conference to discuss the long-term strategic plans and programs for AFRICOM. These plans include security force assistance programs, strengthening institutions and regional approaches to disaster preparedness. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Lisa Vines, Public Affairs Office/Released)
Senior leaders of 10 National Guard states from across the U.S., U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Africa gather to talk about strategic and long-term planning at the State Partnership Program conference in Raleigh, N.C., on Jan. 26, 2016. The service members met at the conference to discuss the long-term strategic plans and programs for AFRICOM. These plans include security force assistance programs, strengthening institutions and regional approaches to disaster preparedness. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Lisa Vines, Public Affairs Office/ Released)

RALEIGH, N.C. - Senior leaders from U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Africa joined National Guard leaders, hosted by the North Carolina National Guard, to discuss the future of the State Partnership Program in Raleigh Jan. 26-28.

Out of 54 countries in Africa, AFRICOM's area of responsibility covers 53. The partnerships with African countries focus on cultivating long-term relationships and goals.

“As the National Guard we take a longer view, which is important especially in Africa,” said Air Force Brig. Gen. David San Clemente, deputy director for strategy, plans and programs at AFRICOM.

Through the State Partnership Program, the National Guard strengthens relationships with and bolsters the military capacity of partner nations in Africa. The first day of the State Partnership Program conference focused on security force assistance programs, strengthening of institutions and a regional approach to disaster preparedness.

MORE INFORMATION: National Guard State Partnership Program

Dr. Barbara Sotirin, AFRICOM deputy director of programs, explained how the learning perspective of the partnerships ideally works.

“In Ghana, just after Ebola, when we started we were the trainers. Four months later, halfway through the program, it was reversed. They were the trainers and we were advisers,” Sotirin said.

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Speakers at the AFRICOM conference emphasized a long-term perspective for the National Guard’s role in the partnerships.

“We want to try to create capabilities that are sustainable,” said Sotirin. “We need to maintain a focus on the long-term, and that’s the Guard.”

San Clemente said, “Africa is the one place, I believe, we can have the greatest long-term effect on millions.”

There are currently 12 State Partnerships between the United States and African nations: California is partnered with Nigeria; New York with South Africa; North Carolina with Botswana; the North Dakota Guard is partnered with three countries, Ghana, Togo and Benin; Michigan with Liberia; Utah with Morocco; Vermont with Senegal; Wyoming with Tunisia; Kentucky with Djibouti; Massachusetts with Kenya.

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