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West Virginia National Guard, Peruvian mechanics train in Lima

By Sgt. Zoe Morris | West Virginia National Guard | Feb. 12, 2020

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LIMA, Peru – West Virginia Army National Guard (WVARNG) Soldiers conducted light wheeled vehicle mechanic training with Peru’s armed forces Jan. 8-17 under the Department of State’s Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) and the National Guard Bureau’s State Partnership Program (SPP).

This is the second time Master Sgt. Ricky Baker, an equipment specialist, Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Dunlap, an automotive inspector, and Sgt. 1st Class Hector Guillen, SPP Coordinator - Peru, have participated in a GPOI. They first linked up with the Peruvian military in November 2018 before a Peruvian Army contingent deploying to the Central African Republic (CAR) in support of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSCA).

The two militaries joined forces to train on a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) both times.

The WVARNG was invited back to Peru to assist in additional training for the engineer company that deployed in January. This second rotational force requested training on the M1165 HMMWV due to maintenance issues that arose in CAR.

“We continue to work together because of our strong relationship that has been built throughout our partnership with Peru over the last 20 years,” said Guillen. “Our noncommissioned officers, Baker and Dunlap, care about instructing and training soldiers, no matter where in the world, and will continue to provide exceptional training at the request of our partner nation when needed. We appreciate the opportunity for our Soldiers to travel and work hand-in-hand with outstanding Peruvian soldiers, airmen and sailors.”

West Virginia and Peru have been SPP partners since 1996. They have engaged in nearly 150 interactions that provide insight into regional challenges facing the Andean Ridge, especially in counterinsurgency, anti-terrorism, emergency preparedness, risk mitigation, disaster response and recovery. The two partner nations continue to participate in subject matter expert exchanges to enhance force interoperability, develop and strengthen the Peruvian military’s noncommissioned officer corps and increase capabilities for the two militaries.