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West Va. and State Partnership Peru review program success

By Capt. Holli Nelson | West Virginia National Guard | March 4, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. - West Virginia National Guard leaders and members of the State Partnership Program – Peru met Feb. 19, in Washington, D.C., with delegates of the Embassy of Peru to review progress on the partnership and to look ahead at future opportunities.

Brig. Gen. Christopher Walker, assistant adjutant general-Air, Command Sgt. Maj. Phillip Cantrell, WVNG Senior Enlisted Leader, and SPP – Peru team members Capt. Joshua Goforth and Sgt. 1st Class Hector Guillén, joined the Peruvian Chargé d’Affaires, Minister Agustín De Madalengoitia, and other Defense Attachés and diplomats for the meeting at the residence of the Embassy of Peru.

The meeting between the two partner nation’s military and diplomatic leaders allowed bidding farewell to Madalengoitia, who is concluding his tour in Washington, D.C., and will be returning to Peru for a new assignment. Also, it provided a chance for the new military leaders of the WVNG to meet face-to-face with Peruvian Defense Attachés to bolster the longstanding partnership between West Virginia and Peru and to discuss future bilateral training and engagement opportunities.

Walker noted that it was a real honor to be hosted at the Peruvian Embassy residence and to meet with defense leaders from Peru. “Our Peruvian partnership has created an enduring and important working relationship that I hope continues to flourish,” said Walker. “It enables unique training opportunities for all involved parties and underscores the value of how our nations can work together to further diplomatic goals of mutual interest in the region.”

In 1996 the West Virginia - Peru partnership was established. In just over 20 years, the two nations have partnered together for more than 130 interactions providing insight into regional challenges facing the Andean Ridge, especially in the areas of counter-insurgency, anti-terrorism, emergency preparedness, risk mitigation, disaster response, and recovery.