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About the State Partnership Program

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The New York National Guard State Partnership Program executes bilateral events, to include military and civilian engagements, with the Republic of South Africa, and Brazil, in order to increase partner capacity and capability. These efforts are in support of both US Africa Command’s, and US Southern Command’s Lines of Effort, and to promote regional stability in Africa and South America.


The New York National Guard fosters a strong and enduring State Partnership Program relationship with both of its partner nations through military to military and military to civilian engagements in support of the National Security Strategy, National Military Strategy, Department of State, US African Command, US Army Africa, Air Force Africa guidance and US Southern Command. The Republic of South Africa continues to be a capable and viable contributor to the long-term regional security on the African continent. Brazil is a leader on the Southern American continent and a growing global player on the world’s stage with the 12th largest economy.


The State Partnership Program links a State’s National Guard with the armed forces of a partner nation in a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship. There are currently 87 State Partnership Programs throughout the world. This program is administered by the National Guard Bureau, guided by State Department foreign policy goals, and executed by the State Adjutants General in support of the combatant commander, security cooperation objectives and Department of Defense policy goals. It builds capacity and capability within the partner nation’s security forces. It also cultivates personal, professional, and institutional relationships while training National Guardsmen for Title 10 and Title 32 missions.

Today the program has expanded to include creating strong and enduring military to civilian relationships with various government agencies within the partner nation.

The SPP evolved from a 1991 U.S. European Command decision to set up the Joint Contact Team Program in the Baltic Region with Reserve component Soldiers and Airmen. A subsequent National Guard Bureau proposal paired U.S. states with three nations emerging from the former Soviet Bloc and the SPP was born, becoming a key U.S. security cooperation tool, facilitating cooperation across all aspects of international civil-military affairs and encouraging people-to-people ties at the state level.

Currently there are 87 SPP partnerships encompassing 93 partner nations

National Guard SPP World Map

State Partnership Program Leadership

MAJ Melanie Padilla

State Partnership Program Director (Brazil, South Africa), New York National Guard

Email: melanie.a.padilla2.mil@army.mil
Office: 518-786-6171
Mobile: 518-649-2916

LTC John Clark

Republic of South Africa Bilateral Affairs Officer for New York

Email: john.a.clark168.mil@army.mil

Capt Philip Piombino

Brazil Bilateral Affairs Officer for New York

Email: philip.b.piombino.mil@mail.mil

© NYS DMNA: NY National Guard South Africa Partnership
URL: https://dmna.ny.gov/spp/
Page Last Modified: 17 May 24