PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. --
The State Partnership Program has connected U.S. National Guards with more than 75 nations around the world for more than 20 years.
Members of the Salvadoran armed forces toured Pease during a senior leadership visit to their partner state of New Hampshire on August 10, 2017.
“This trip allows for New Hampshire and El Salvador to build upon their existing bilateral relationship,” said Brig. Gen. Paul Hutchinson, the assistant adjutant general and commander of the New Hampshire Air National Guard.
There are more than 15 missions to El Salvador each year, said Hutchinson.
New Hampshire Air and Army National Guardsmen have worked with members of the Salvadoran Armed Forces since 2000 to exchange ideas on security procedures and military training processes, as well as to collaborate on humanitarian projects such as the rebuilding of medical clinics and schools, and providing medical services to Salvadoran communities.
Both the U.S. and El Salvador benefit from this strategic partnership, as it supports defense security goals for both nations, while simultaneously boosting potential for future cooperation within military, economic, governmental and social arenas.
Salvadoran Maj. Gen. Félix Edgardo Núñez, the chief of defense, Brig. Gen. Guillermo Adolfo Herrador Peña, chief of the armed forces, Col. Rafael Remberto Ventura Martinez, the chief of staff of the Salvadoran air force, toured an air traffic control tower, a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker and the fire stations on base after meeting with senior Air and Army leadership.
Lt. Col. Paulo A. Morales, a flight commander assigned to the 133rd Air Refueling Squadron here, assisted during the base tour by translating for the Salvadoran visitors.
“This is my first interaction with members of El Salvador's armed forces with hopefully others to come in the future,” said Morales. “It was professionally rewarding to showcase and speak about our equipment and facilities in the Spanish language.”
During the aircraft visit, the Salvadoran visitors toured the flight deck and boom pod of the aircraft, and were given informative summaries of the KC-135 mission sets, aircraft specifications and air refueling fundamentals.
“All members of the visiting team were very grateful and left with a better understanding on how we do business,” said Morales.
To learn more about the history and reach of the State Partnership Program, please visit the National Guard Bureau website at http://www.nationalguard.mil/Leadership/Joint-Staff/J-5/International-Affairs-Division/State-Partnership-Program/.