Caption:?(From left) Brig. Gen. Tau?aika Uta?atu, Commander, His Majesty?s Armed Forces and Brig. Gen. Bill Burks, Adjutant General, State of Nevada, enter into the State Partnership Program by signing the declaration during a formal signing ceremony held at Armed Forces Headquarters in the Tongan capital on Apr. 11. Photo: SUPPLIED.
The United States Pacific Command and the U.S. Embassy Suva announce the signing of a partnership on April 11, 2014 in Nuku?alofa joining the Nevada National Guard and the Kingdom of Tonga signifying the most recent conglomeration in the National Guard State Partnership Program.
The announcement of Tonga?s participation in the State Partnership Program and newly formed cooperative with the Nevada National Guard was initiated by Adm. Samuel J. Locklear, Commander, United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) on November 1, 2013 but became an official partnership last week with the leadership of both organizations signing the partnership.
?It?s truly been an honor and privilege for me to participate in today?s ceremony,? said Locklear. ?In the Pacific there are only eight state partnership programs and Tonga is now one of them. Let me make it clear, the U.S. ? Tonga relationship is very important to us. I wouldn?t be here today if it wasn?t important to us as a nation and our shared security architecture in general. We look forward to working even closer together with the Tongan military as it remains globally engaged helping ensuring peace and stability for our children and grandchildren.?
Established in 1993 and first implemented in the Pacific by USPACOM in 2000, the National Guard State Partnership Program is a U.S. Department of Defense program managed by the National Guard linking U.S. states with partner countries for the purpose of supporting
PACOM?s security cooperation objectives. By partnering Nevada with the Kingdom of Tonga, the State Partnership Program aims to promote access, improve interoperability and enhance military capabilities and the principles of responsible governance.
With this agreement, the State Partnership Program now features 68 partnerships involving 74 nations around the world.
For more information contact:
Regional Media Specialist U.S. Embassy Suva ?MorrisS@state.gov
Phone:+679 3314466 ? or? +679 7721793