Iowa leaders observe 30-year anniversary of state partnership program

  • Published
  • By Catain Keven Waldron
  • Iowa JFHQ Public Affairs

The State Partnership Program was developed to pair state National Guards with established European countries during the dissolution of the Soviet Union to facilitate cooperation with all aspects of civil-military affairs and encourage state-level ties.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Maj. Gen. Stephen Osborn, the Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, are marking the occasion by recommitting their support for the program.

In 1993, thirteen states - including Illinois and Nebraska - began to build ties with European countries. Since then, the program has expanded to include partnerships in 100 different countries across the globe.

In 2011, the Iowa National Guard formed a unique partnership with Kosovo never seen before in the program.

VIDEO | 02:37 | Iowa Air Guard medical clinic trains with Kosovo Security Force

The strength of our civic partnership was on display recently when Gov. Reynolds traveled to Kosovo to meet with President Vjosa Osmani on an international trade mission.

"Having had the opportunity to recently visit Kosovo, it reconfirmed to me the benefits of the State Partnership program and I look forward to growing this relationship," said Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Today, the partnership between Iowa and Kosovo continues to grow and thrive. The Iowa National Guard is focused on developing their relationship with the Kosovo Security Force by developing their capabilities in leadership, cyber defense, maintenance, and medical training.

"The State Partnership Program continues to build strength through a partnership that is increasing security operations, military capabilities, and readiness," states The Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Stephen Osborn. "We look forward to more opportunities to grow through training and exchange programs with the Kosovo Security Forces and the Iowa National Guard."

Iowa Soldiers and Airmen have had the opportunity to train alongside the Kosovo Security Force, as well as participate in cultural exchanges. mutually benefited from the collaborative effort and building relationships that will last a generation.

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