News: Republic of Botswana delegation meets with North Carolina state government leaders
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Robert Jordan
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Republic of Botswana leaders met with their counterparts in North Carolina State Government during a delegation visit here, June 24-25.
The delegation from Botswana including Minister of Defense, Justice and Security Dikgakgamatso Ndelu Seretse, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defense Segakweng Tsiane, Lt. Gen Gaolathe Galebotswe and Brig. Gen. David Dikobe toured the North Carolina National Guard and North Carolina Emergency Management headquarters. They met with North Carolina Department of Public Safety Secretary Kieran Shanahan, NCDPS Chief Operating Officer Sonny Masso and Army Maj. Gen Greg Lusk, the adjutant general of North Carolina.
"It is a great honor, welcome," said Masso.
The delegation's mission? Take the lessons learned from North Carolina Emergency Management, National Guard, other state and local leaders and apply them at home.
"It is very insightful to see how you came together," said Seretse.
North Carolina experts in police/law enforcement, emergency response, forest service, security and national defense waited to greet their Botswana peers. A quick flurry of handshakes and a few hugs gave way to the serious work of discussing ways in which Botswana officials may apply the lessons and accomplishments the NCEM earned over years of dealing with natural disasters.
"We have to learn how they operate, the common factor is saving lives,” said Jack Mthenjane, a NCEM quality assurance supervisor.
Each department leader gave an overview of their role in emergency management.
"There is nothing we will not answer," said Masso.
After a tour of the guard and emergency management facilities, the Botswana leaders split up to meet personally with their N.C. counterpart.
"We want to see how you do things different," said Dikobe.
The leaders discussed not just the tactics learned from hurricanes, floods and fires but the techniques learned from years of coordination across local, state and federal agencies, as well as with volunteers and local businesses.
“It takes everybody; volunteers, business, and individuals because government cannot do it by itself," said Methenjane.
This learning is not a one-way street and many of NCNG leaders have visited or served in Botswana.
"Our state partnership program helps us grow," said Lusk.
The delegation will continue its tour of North Carolina visiting New Hannover County Emergency Operation Center, the Battleship USS North Carolina and the NCNG's 42nd Civil Support Team.
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