MIDDLETOWN, Pa. -- As part of the National Guard State Partnership Program, Pennsylvania Air National Guard leaders met with the command sergeant major of the Lithuanian Air Base during his week-long visit to the state April 7-14, 2018.
Lithuanian Command Sgt. Maj. Nerijus Petravičius visited the Pennsylvania ANG after completing the Senior NCO Academy at Maxwell Air Force Base, Mississippi.
Pennsylvania ANG Command Chief Master Sgt. Regina Stoltzfus spent the week with Petravičius, touring ANG facilities and meeting with Airmen.
Petravičius’ visit was an opportunity to establish and strengthen enduring relationships between U.S. and Lithuanian leadership.
“We want to create relationships. The bottom-line is to have a good relationship with our NATO allies,” said Stoltzfus.
Due to the continuity that’s established between the units, the Pennsylvania Air and Army National Guard are the best choice to establish an enduring relationship with our NATO allies said Stoltzfus.
One of the goals is to find win-win projects that allow the U.S. Air Force and Lithuania Air Force’s goals to align and both can sides benefit.
“We are constantly trying to figure out what is a win-win,” said Stoltzfus. “The sergeant major is going to go to Maxwell Air Force Base for the Senior NCO Academy, and the Air Force says ‘Yes we need our allies and NATO brothers and sisters to come over here and see what the Air Force is teaching our enlisted force.’ We are doing that.”
During his week in Pennsylvania, Petravičius toured the 171st Air Refueling Wing in Coraopolis, the 193rd Special Operations Wing in Middletown, the 111th Attack Wing at Horsham Air Guard Station and the Joint Forces Headquarters located at Fort Indiantown Gap said Stoltzfus. Petravičius met with leaders and Airmen to gain insight on the individual jobs they perform and the challenges they face. He also learned more about the missions that each wing is responsible for and the capabilities they possess.
Two cultural tours were conducted where Petravičius could take part in some of America’s history said Stoltzfus. The first tour was to Philadelphia where he toured the historical downtown area, visited the Liberty Bell and sampled a cheese steak. The second day he visited Gettysburg and toured the museum and national battlefield areas.
Petravicius spoke of his visit to Pennsylvania.
“The one week that I spent in Pennsylvania was amazing,” said Petravičius. “I visited all the wings and also received various briefings on the tasks that Pennsylvania ANG personnel are working on. It was impressive to see dedicated NCOs and officers working hard to be ready for the mission.”
This year marks the 25th anniversary that the Pennsylvania National Guard and the Lithuanian Armed Forces has worked together under the National Guard State Partnership Program.