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    National Guard, US Southern Command building partnership capacity

    National Guard, US Southern Command building partnership capacity

    Photo By Johnathon Orrell | Air Force Gen. Douglas M. Fraser, the commander of U.S. Southern Command, speaks at...... read more read more



    Story by Tech. Sgt. Johnathon Orrell 

    National Guard Bureau

    ORLANDO, Fla. - The National Guard State Partnership Program is a key element to building relationships within the U.S. Southern Command region, the combatant commander said here Feb. 17.

    "[SOUTHCOM has] 28 different State Partnership Programs in the region," Air Force Gen. Douglas M. Fraser told attendees at the 27th annual Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition.

    "They're immensely important, and one of the biggest reasons is it gives us the capacity to provide the capability that we wouldn't have otherwise," Fraser said. "You can cross some interagency [lines] because of the experience within the Guard.

    "The Guard rotates though duty assignment much less frequently than the [active duty Air Force]. This allows the Guard to be able to build those critical, lasting relationships here and with our overseas partners."

    The SPP is another application that the National Guard offers the Air Force worldwide, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, Air Force Gen. Craig McKinley said Feb. 18.

    "We have over 62 partner nations with the National Guard's State Partnership Program," he said. "That is exercising soft power in a way that is very important."

    Soft power is sometimes defined as exercising influence through persuasion and attraction rather than through hard power, which is the use of military and economic might.

    The almost 20-year-old National Guard State Partnership Program pairs Guard states with foreign countries.

    The partnerships, such as the one with South Dakota and Suriname, are based upon similarities such as population size, land mass or agricultural-based economies.

    "I'm a big supporter of SPP, and I look forward to working alongside the Guard for many more years," Fraser said. "It's an enduring relationship."



    Date Taken: 02.18.2011
    Date Posted: 02.18.2011 21:10
    Story ID: 65722
    Location: ORLANDO, FL, US 

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