State Partnership Program
Washington State / Kingdom of Thailand
The National Guard State Partnership Programs (SPP) are designed to establish long term relationships in which U.S. States and their partnered nations share best practices and expert knowledge in a range of areas.
In 2002, Washington Gov. Gary Locke and The Adjutant General, Major General Tim Lowenberg, established Washington State’s SPP to establish a long-term relationship between the Washington Military Department and the Kingdom of Thailand.
The Washington Military Department and the Kingdom of Thailand share best practices for military support to civilian authorities, emergency management, disaster planning, port security, HAZMAT/WMD response initiatives and airport security, among others. The SPP also facilitates economic, commercial, social and cultural government interactions in addition to military-to-military expert exchanges. Multi-level Army and Air Force familiarization exercises provide yet another platform to share effective practices and techniques.
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."
This low-cost 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 combatant commander and U.S. Chief of Mission security cooperation objectives and Department of Defense policy goals.