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News | June 13, 2022

New Hampshire National Guard, Cabo Verde Build Emerging Partnership

By Tech. Sgt. Charles Johnston, Joint Force Headquarters - New Hampshire National Guard

The New Hampshire National Guard hosted a delegation from the Republic of Cabo Verde for a State Partnership Program workshop June 8-10.

Visitors from the African archipelago country, including Minister of Defense Janine Lélis and Harold Tavares, chief of staff to the prime minister, met with NHNG leaders to advance a relationship that began in February.

The leaders met at the state military reservation’s Heritage Room, where organizational artifacts are displayed in the state’s oldest armory.

“We are very fortunate and honored to work with you together to strengthen our alliance and our shared values,” said Gen. David Mikolaities, New Hampshire adjutant general.

Cabo Verde and New Hampshire are paired through the State Partnership Program, a Department of Defense National Guard Bureau program that links state National Guards and foreign countries to facilitate military, government and civilian exchanges. The same program teamed the Granite State with El Salvador in 2000, a relationship that continues to strengthen and grow.

Delegates toured military and government facilities and equipment, including the State House and a KC-46A Pegasus at Pease Air National Guard Base, to identify opportunities for future collaboration.

Lélis also visited Bow High School to explore potential exchanges between education systems.

“The intent for this workshop was to learn a little more about our colleagues in Cabo Verde and to uncover synergies between our organizations that we can leverage to strengthen each of our organizations,” said Capt. Mario Rey, SPP director. “We now have a good foundation to start working together in the years to come.”

The NHNG and Cabo Verde leaders identified goals in multiple areas, including cybersecurity, critical infrastructure, force modernization and aviation. Rey said about 12 collaborations are expected annually as a five-year plan is developed.

“Cape Verde is a small country in its archipelagic dimension, big in its ambition and strategically relevant,” Lélis said. “We will be putting all of our energy and capacity to work for the success of this partnership.”