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NGAUS Legislative Alert #15-3; 30 March 2015

The Issue: Reauthorizing and Strengthening the National Guard State Partnership Program

Immediate Action Required: Contact your representatives immediately and ask them to support H.R. 1614, the State Partnership Program Enhancement Act of 2015, a bill sponsored by Rep. Madeleine Bordallo, D-Guam

NGAUS strongly supports H.R. 1614, a bill that would strengthen the National Guard State Partnership Program (SPP) and build a strong permanent legal foundation for this critical “soft power” global partnership program.  The current authorization for the program expires at the end of FY16.

The National Guard SPP supports U.S. national interests and security cooperation goals by engaging partner nations via military, socio-political and economic conduits at the local, state and national levels.  SPP evolved from a 1991 U.S. European Command decision to set up an outreach program in the Baltic Region with reserve-component members.  It has grown into a global endeavor, becoming a key U.S. security cooperation tool across all aspects of international civilian-military affairs providing international security solutions in support of national and defense strategy. SPP provides unique capacity building capabilities to Combatant Commanders and U.S. Chiefs of Mission supporting 68 partnerships with 74 partner nations. 

The bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-OK; Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-CO; and Rep. Timothy Walz, D-MN, fortifies the FY14 codification of this important program.  The bill:

  • Expands the operational definition of the program to align with national security global strategies
  • Creates one DoD-wide account for funding to ensure oversight and accountability
  • Requires CNGB to define core capabilities, design performance metrics and designate SPP state coordinators
  • Requires annual reporting to Congress on activities, performance and funding

Please contact your representatives and urge them to support this bill.

TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTION:  

By using the Write to Congress feature on the NGAUS website at www.ngaus.org, you can IMMEDIATELY email your elected representatives. A sample letter is included in Write to Congress. You can email the prewritten message or edit the sample letter as you desire. This is the quickest and most effective method of expressing your views to Congress. Also, contact your friends and family members and urge them to use Write to Congress as well. For further information and background visit our website at www.ngaus.org. Please direct any questions concerning this issue to Grace Washbourne, NGAUS legislative program manager for joint programs, at 202-408-5893 or via email at grace.washbourne@ngaus.org.

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