The National Guard State Partnership Program (SPP) was created in the years immediately following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union in the late 1980's and early 1990's. Starting in April 1993, the concept paired state National Guards with countries that shared cultural, economic, and other similar characteristics.
The SPP grew beyond its original pairings in Europe to the continents of South America, Asia and Africa. As world geopolitical situations have changed, so has the SPP. Joint exercises provided the opportunity for National Guard Soldiers and Airmen, as well as their foreign partners, to share their expertise in several different ways. There are currently 73 National Guard State Partnership Programs throughout the world.
In 2003, the New York National Guard Adjutant General, Major General Thomas Maguire, founded our State Partnership Program to establish a long-term relationship with the Republic of South Africa. Since the inception of our partnership, the New York National Guard has been extremely active with military and civilian engagements throughout the years.