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Press Release
November 05, 2010
Governor to accompany Oregon National Guard on State Partnership Program visit to Bangladesh
SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski will join Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, the Adjutant General, Oregon, on a visit to Bangladesh, Nov. 10-12, to meet with civilian and military leaders supporting the State Partnership Program.

The State Partnership Program helps build long-term relationships between individual states and their National Guard units, and foreign countries. The program is part of a partnership started by the U.S. State Department and the National Guard Bureau.

The three day visit is part of a continuing effort to discuss mutual best practices for natural disaster response and medical mass casualty training exercises. The team will visit with various government ministries and Bangladeshi military leaders. The visit is also intended to highlight mutually beneficial economic ties between Oregon and Bangladesh and foster international goodwill.

"This partnership fostered by Oregon's National Guard has already made a difference in both countries," said Governor Kulongoski. "I applaud the efforts of the National Guard in its commitment to learning, helping and championing efforts to improve relations all across the globe for the benefit of the United States."

Among the highlights of the trip are a visit with Bangladesh's Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, discussions with the Foreign Ministry, and a luncheon at the American Chamber of Commerce in Dhaka. On November 11, Governor Kulongoski is scheduled to lay a wreath at the Shikha Anirban in memory of Bangladeshi Armed Forces members who laid down their lives during the War of Independence in 1971.

Oregon and Bangladesh share similar challenges with both regions' proximity to earthquake and flood zones and both governments can benefit from knowledge sharing in emergency management and disaster response.

"Inclusion of the Governor on this trip emphasizes to the political and military leadership of Bangladesh the high regard in which we hold this partnership," Rees said.

The State Partnership Program reflects an evolving international affairs mission for the National Guard, emphasizing its unique state-federal and civil-military characteristics to interact with both the active and reserve forces of foreign nations, interagency partners, and international non-governmental organizations.

State partners participate in a broad range of security cooperation activities to include homeland defense/security, disaster response/mitigation, consequence/crisis management, interagency cooperation, border/port/aviation security, combat medical, fellowship-style internships, and bilateral familiarization events that lead to training and exercise opportunities.

The State Partnership Program currently supports 62 partnerships between states and nations. For more information about the program, go to: www.ng.mil/media/factsheets/SPP.pdf.  
Further Media contacts: State Partnership Program, Staff Sgt. Joseph Barto, SPP Operations NCO, at: joseph.barto@ang.af.mil, or Patricia Hill, Press & Information Officer for the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka at: HillPA2@state.gov, or by phone; +88 02 855-5500, x.2411.