NHNG, Cabo Verde Build Emerging Partnership

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  • By Tech. Sgt. Charles Johnston

The New Hampshire National Guard hosted a delegation from the Republic of Cabo Verde for a State Partnership Program Workshop held June 8 to 10 in Concord.

Visitors from the African archipelago country, including Minister of Defense Janine Lélis and Dr. Harold Tavares, chief of staff to the prime minister, met with NHNG leaders to advance a relationship that began in February.

The convention was based out of the state military reservation’s Heritage Room, a gallery of organizational artifacts on display in the state’s oldest armory.

“We are very fortunate and honored to work with you together to strengthen our alliance and our shared values,” said New Hampshire Adjutant Gen. David Mikolaities in his opening remarks.

Cabo Verde and New Hampshire were paired through a Department of Defense program that links state National Guards and foreign countries to facilitate military, government, and civilian exchanges. The same program teamed the Granite State with El Salvador in 2000, a relationship that continues to strengthen and grow.

Delegates toured various military and government facilities and equipment, including the State House and a KC-46A Pegasus at Pease Air National Guard Base, to identify opportunities for future collaboration.

Lélis also visited Bow High School to explore potential exchanges between education systems, including a Bow support role in an English certification program for Cabo Verdean students.

“The intent for this workshop was to learn a little more about our colleagues in Cabo Verde and to uncover synergies between our organizations that we can leverage to strengthen each of our organizations,” said Capt. Mario Rey, SPP director. "We now have a good foundation to start working together in the years to come."

Goals for future engagements were identified in multiple areas, including cybersecurity, critical infrastructure, force modernization and aviation. As a five-year plan continues to take form, about 12 collaborations are expected annually, Rey said.

“Cape Verde is a small country in its archipelagic dimension, big in its ambition and strategically relevant,” Lélis said. “We will be putting all of our energy and capacity to work for the success of this partnership.”