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NEWS | May 28, 2024

Virginia Guard, Tajikistan Conduct Key Leader Exchange

By Mike Vrabel, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan – Brig. Gen. Todd H. Hubbard, the Virginia National Guard director of the Joint Staff, conducted key leader engagements with senior leaders from the Republic of Tajikistan April 29 to May 3. 

The engagements in Dushanbe supported the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program. Virginia and Tajikistan have been partners since 2003. 

Hubbard met with Brig. Gen. Ismon Shokirzoda, commander of the Mobile Forces. They discussed the success of the VNG’s partnership with Tajikistan and highlighted recent exchanges in Tajikistan and Virginia covering infantry tactics, mountain warfare and communications. 

“We are proud of our longstanding partnership with Tajikistan,” said Hubbard. “For over 20 years, we have worked together to protect our respective countries.”

Hubbard also met with Lt. Gen. Rajabali Rahmonali, commander of the Tajikistan Border Guard Services. Rahmonali visited the VNG’s Sgt. Bob Slaughter Headquarters at Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, in 2023. 

“I enjoy the friendships I have made with our Tajik partners,” said Hubbard. “They are proud of their independent country and want to improve security for their citizens.” 

Maj. Isaac Rivera, the VNG’s SPP director, said Rahmonali also appreciates the relationship.

“Rahmonali expressed his gratitude for the assistance of the U.S. government and the Virginia National Guard in training of the border guards on soldier tasks such as communications, logistics and military decision-making process,” said Rivera. 

Hubbard said he looks forward to future exchanges between the partner nations. 

“Our Soldiers and Airmen enjoy the opportunity to work with our partners in Tajikistan,” said Hubbard. “Traveling to another country and working in new environments challenges our service members.”

In July, the VNG and Tajikistan celebrated the 20th anniversary of their formal partnership in the State Partnership Program. The VNG also formalized its partnership with Finland in 2024.

The SPP began in 1993 and now includes 92 partnerships with 106 nations. 

 

 

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