The Ministry of Defense of the Sultanate of Oman and the Arizona National Guard of the United States of America signed a State Partnership Program in Muscat.
The National Guard State Partnership Program (SPP) is designed to establish long-term relationships in which U.S. States and their partnered nations share best practices and expert knowledge, Oman News Agency (ONA) reported.
The SPP is a US Department of Defense joint security cooperation program administered by the National Guard Bureau that links a state's National Guard with the armed forces of a partner country to build long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with US allies around the world.
The Arizona State Partnership Program was signed from the Omani side by Vice Admiral Abdullah Khamis Al Raisi, Chief of Staff of the Sultan’s Armed Forces (SAF), and from the American side by Major General Kerry Muehlenbeck, the Adjutant General, Arizona National Guard, in the presence of Katie Hobbs, Governor of Arizona.
During the signing ceremony, the two sides issued a joint press statement reading as follows: “The Sultanate of Oman has a robust and historical strategic relationship with the United States of America. The signing of the partnership program between the Sultanate of Oman’s Ministry of Defense and the Arizona National Guard of the United States of America today embodies this strong and advanced relationship and enhances joint cooperation in military, security, and a range of strategic fields.”
“Through this new partnership, the Sultanate of Oman and the United States of America reaffirmed historical ties between the two countries and mutual commitments to achieve shared goals and common interests,” the statement added.
On this occasion, Vice Admiral Abdullah Khamis Al Raisi, Chief of Staff of the Sultan’s Armed Forces said: “The official signing ceremony of the state partnership program today culminates the efforts of both countries’ leaderships to enhance the long existing bilateral cooperation and the strategic partnership between the two countries. It reaffirms the importance of strengthening the joint military and security efforts to reinforce common strategic and national interests of both friendly countries and paves the way for more cooperation in the field of joint defense and security in pursuance common interests and objectives.”
“This is a unique and exciting time for the State of Arizona and the Arizona National Guard,” said Major General Kerry Muehlenbeck.
He added: “2023 marks the 30th anniversary of one of the oldest State Partnership Programs between Arizona and the Republic of Kazakhstan. With today’s signing, Arizona now also welcomes the newest State Partnership with the Sultanate of Oman. The talents and dedication of our service members make the Arizona National Guard the right choice. Together our capabilities will grow and strengthen our forces, communities, and countries we serve.”
The official signing ceremony of the state partnership program was attended from the Omani side by a number of senior SAF officers and the Military Attaché at the Sultanate of Oman’s Embassy in Washington, while it was attended from the American side by General Daniel Hokanson, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, US Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman, a number of senior officers and the Defense Attaché at the US Embassy in Muscat.