|A soldier in the 273rd Military Police Company in
the D.C. Army National Guard, gives directions as
platoon sergeant during an exercise with the
Jamaican Defense Force at the Subject Matter
Expert Exchange (SMEE) in the JDF
Training Camp, Moneague, Jamaica. The SMEE
allows exchanges of information between
participants to increase partnership and ideas.
The State Partnership Program (SPP) is a joint program of the United States Department of Defense (DoD), The U.S. State Department, and the individual states, territories, and the District of Columbia. The SPP has been successfully building relationships for over 20 years that includes 73 unique security partnerships involving 79 nations around the globe. SPP links a unique component of the Department of Defense – a state's National Guard – with the armed forces or equivalent of a partner country in a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship. The District of Columbia has two countries in the SPP.
Jamaica joined the SPP with the District of Columbia National Guard in 1999, with the first exchange taking place in October 1999. Jamaica falls under the area of operations of U.S. Southern Command. The overarching purpose of the partnership is to enhance U.S. Southern Command’s ability to establish and maintain enduring military-to-military, military-to-security force and military-to-emergency response/disaster response agencies that improve long-term security cooperation relationships, while expanding partnership capacity. The partnership between the D.C. National Guard and Jamaica will enter its 20th year in 2019 and averages nearly 20 cooperative events each year.
In 2018, the D.C. National Guard SPP teams conducted 17 engagements. Key events included counternarcotic and trafficking Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEE), military police and domestic security training exercise, Air Force SOUTH Fixed Wing Assessment, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief staff assistance visit, Army Aviation SMEE, Senior NCO Development SMEE, visual information and publication/historian site visit, administration SMEE, and overseas deployment training for medical and dental personnel, to name a few.
For 2019, D.C. National Guard SPP engagement team members focused on effectiveness and readiness to plan, prepare, alert and respond to natural and human-made disasters, including efforts to enhance and build capability/capacity within the Jamaican military, security forces and emergency response/disaster relief agencies.
On February 1, 2019, Burkina Faso became the 76 nation to join the State Partnership Program. At a ceremony held at the Ministry of Defense in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, then-commanding general, District of Columbia National Guard and Brigade General Moses Miningou, chief of general staff, Armed Forces of Burkina Faso, signed the historic partnership agreement.
Together, they agreed to build a mutually rewarding relationship of cooperation, which will be founded on the preservation of mutual interests, to share their cultural diversity and strengthen their capabilities by integrating investment in human capital within the exchanges, and to embark upon a lasting relationship between the National Armed Forces of Burkina Faso and the National Guard of the District of Columbia, in the best interests of security and development.