Posted on Mar 16, 2022
Last week Brigadier General (BG) Scott Sherman updated the Club on the mission and current activity of our Colorado National Guard (CONG). The second part of his talk was, perhaps the most interesting, focused on the Colorado Guard’s partnerships (SPP) with the Kingdom of Jordan and the Republic of Slovenia.  BG Sherman is currently serving in the position of Director of Joint Staff for the Colorado National Guard. Governor Jared Polis is the Commander in Chief and BG Sherman serves under the Adjutant General of Colorado, BG Laura Clellan. 
The activity (“Operations Tempo”) of the National Guard has increased dramatically since the events on 9/11 with 122,000 members deployed worldwide and 96,500 members that have been activated for domestic emergency responses. We in Ft Collins remember when the Guard recently arrived at PVH/UCHealth hospitals to help with COVID patients.  The CONG’s mission “Defending the Homeland” has several component parts - Missile Defense and Warning, Air defense, Cyber Security and (perhaps closer to home for us civilians), Search and Rescue.  
“SPP” is a partnership program begun in 1993 with the 3 Baltic Republics and expanded to (currently) 85 partnerships with 93 partner nations. This program is sourced from the Department of Defense to the various state National Guards. The mission of the SPP is to “support the security cooperation objectives of the US”.  This smaller footprint (NG) allows for improved personal connection between military leaders, cooperative training, and co-deployments.  Areas of application include disaster and emergency responses, NCO development, aviation maintenance/safety and cyber security.
Two examples of Colorado partnership programs are the Republic of Slovenia (since 1993) and the Kingdom of Jordan (since 2004). The focus in Jordan has been on supporting the Jordan Armed Forces while cultivating personal relationships through an “innovative, low cost, small footprint security cooperation program”. This 18-year partnership has produced many accomplishments – for example, bringing F16 pilots and aircraft up to US standards and helping Jordan administer medical supplies and service to the 600,000 Syrian refugees that have crossed their border. Challenges in Jordan include gender integration, professionalizing the NCO Corps and NATO certification.
A second partner with CONG is Slovenia. This 29-year relationship has similar goals - supporting the Slovenia Armed forces, and has cultivated many long term professional and personal relationships. Slovenia is a NATO and EU member and a beautiful country (for those who have not yet visited).  Examples of this partnership’s accomplishments – 6 co-deployments to Afghanistan, development of airbases, and cyber warfare integration. Slovenia serves as a mentor to other Balkan nations.
Perhaps the commonality of theses efforts and what we do in our Club is the importance of personal relationships. 
Q&A included a question regarding CONG involvement in Ukraine - the answer is no but the force is active in neighboring NATO countries.