Six members of the District of Columbia National Guard (DCNG) joined their Jamaican Defense Force (JDF) counterparts June 27-28 in Kingston, Jamaica to hold the annual JDF-DCNG planning meeting for the Defense Department’s State Partnership Program (SPP), administered by the National Guard Bureau.
“It was a collaborative effort of engagement and a chance to review accomplishments and clarify the direction and priorities for the partnership,” said, Lt. Col. Serge Mettes, director of the State Partnership Program.
Officials participating in the planning gave particular attention to discussions about engagements in military police operations, non-commissioned officer development, strategic messaging, women peace and security integration and defense support for civil authorities.
The planning meeting also served as an opportunity to identify areas of further collaboration to expand the partnership, including disaster and emergency response, search and rescue operations, cybersecurity and intelligence. Since the partnership began in 1999, the two organizations have been conducting military engagements, including subject matter expert exchanges, key leader engagements and familiarization visits. In addition to Jamaica, the DCNG has a second state partnership with Burkina Faso which it established in 2018.
Through the SPP, the National Guard conducts military-to-military engagements in support of defense security goals but also leverages whole-of-society relationships and capabilities to facilitate broader interagency and corollary engagements spanning military, government, economic and social spheres.