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NEWS | Feb. 22, 2024

Mongolian Colonel Visits Arctic Security Center, Alaska Partners

By Amber Kurka, Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Col. T. Galbadrakh, deputy chief of the General Staff of the Mongolian Armed Forces, visited the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies Feb. 14 in a step toward increased international security cooperation.

Galbadrakh’s visit marked a milestone in enhancing ties between Mongolia and the United States, particularly in defense and security. Randy Kee, the director of the Stevens Center, and other TSC leaders and staff welcomed him.

The visit, coordinated through the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program, underscores the program’s evolution into a vital instrument for strengthening U.S. security cooperation on the global stage.

Originating from a U.S. European Command initiative three decades ago, the SPP encompasses 88 partnerships with 100 nations. Alaska and Mongolia formalized their partnership under the SPP in 2003, laying the groundwork for enduring collaboration in defense and security affairs.

“Alaska is at the intersection of the Indo-Pacific and the Arctic. Like Mongolia, our location is strategic, and the importance of our security partnership cannot be understated,” Kee said.

Galbadrakh and TSC leaders discussed how the center could extend educational opportunities to members of the Mongolian Armed Forces and explored strategies to address contemporary security challenges.

“Mongolia and the United States have many shared security interests. By facilitating the Mongolian Armed Forces’ participation in our courses, we expand our network of like-minded security practitioners from the Indo-Pacific to gain insights about the developing strategic challenges of the Arctic region,” said Kee.

The TSC seeks to establish robust, sustainable networks of security leaders domestically and internationally. It conducts focused research on Arctic security to advance DOD security priorities in the region. The center’s School for Arctic and Climate Security Studies offers courses and fellowships to nations with Arctic interests.

“Our international course participants are essential to developing a shared understanding of the contemporary security environment,” Kee said. “Their perspectives are invaluable to address current and emerging security concerns.”

While Mongolia is not situated in the Arctic, its strategic partnership with the United States underscores a shared interest in ensuring regional stability and security. Galbadrakh’s visit to the TSC was the inaugural step in welcoming the Mongolian Armed Forces to engage in the center’s programs.

“Central to this relationship with the Mongolian Armed Forces is our enduring partnership with the Daniel K. Inouye Center for Asia Pacific Security Studies,” Kee said. “While the Mongolian Armed Forces are well familiar to the outstanding programs on the Inouye Center, they now have the benefit of two DOD regional centers working seamlessly from the Pacific into the Arctic.” 

Both parties expressed enthusiasm for fortifying their relationship, integrating the Mongolian Armed Forces into the international network of security practitioners cultivated by the TSC. Together, they aim to enhance interoperability in the Arctic region alongside allies and partners, contributing to a stable, rules-based order.



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