MUSCAT, Oman - The Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, Arizona National Guard, and the Sultanate of Oman’s Ministry of Defense signed a State Partnership Program agreement March 13, becoming partners in the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau program.
“This is a unique and exciting time for the state of Arizona and the Arizona National Guard,” said Maj. Gen. Kerry Muehlenbeck, Arizona National Guard adjutant general and director of the Department of Emergency and Military Affairs.
Muehlenbeck noted that Arizona has been partners with the Republic of Kazakhstan since the SPP program began 30 years ago.
“With today’s signing, Arizona now also welcomes the newest state partnership with the Sultanate of Oman,“ Muehlenbeck said.
The signing ceremony, held in the capital city of Oman, signifies the forging of an enduring partnership that will bolster capabilities, improve interoperability, and enhance principles of responsible governance.
“The state of Arizona is grateful for the Omani hospitality and the privilege to work with the Sultan’s Armed Forces,” said Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs. “This partnership is grounded in our Arizona National Guard military relationship but expands to other sectors of the government, bringing valuable interoperability opportunities for both countries.”
The SPP program delivers a significant return on investment by broadening the pool of security partners willing and able to support defense and security cooperation objectives around the world. The partnership will also enable Arizona National Guard members to build trusting, long-lasting relationships by training and learning alongside the Sultan of Oman’s Armed Forces.
“The official signing ceremony of the State Partnership Program today culminates the efforts of both countries’ leaderships to enhance the long-existing bilateral cooperation and the strategic partnership between the brotherly countries of the Sultanate of Oman and the USA,” said Vice Admiral Abdullah bin Khamis Al-Raisi, chief of staff of the Sultan’s Armed Forces. ”It reaffirms the importance of strengthening the joint military and security efforts to reinforce common strategic and national interests of both friendly countries and paves the way for more cooperation in the field of joint defense and security in pursuance of common interests and objectives.”
Since the State Partnership Program began in 1993, with Arizona being one of the first participants with Kazakhstan, it has grown to 100 partner nations.
A reciprocal visit between Arizona and Oman is planned in May.