COLCHESTER, Vt. – The Vermont National Guard hosted Austrian military members at numerous National Guard sites Feb. 14-15 as part of the State Partnership Program.
The Green Mountain Boys kicked off Valentine’s Day with a Vermont National Guard introductory brief to explain what the Air National Guard and Army National Guard do within the state and abroad.
“Creating an in-depth understanding about each other’s militaries is key foundationally for us to grow our partnership,” said Lt. Col. Hazel Kreider, Vermont National Guard State Partnership Program director. “We want to build the best relationship with our Austrian partners, and showing exactly who we are and what we do is how we can get there.”
Austrian Maj. Gen. Norbert Huber, Defense, Army, Naval and Air attaché, and Col. Gottfried Malovits, assistant Defense, Army, Naval and Air attaché, highlighted an overview of the Austrian military to the Vermont Guard.
“Vermont and Austrian Soldiers have trained together in the past. As we build on that foundation and expand the understanding of each other’s capabilities, we will find areas we can grow together,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. David Manfredi, director of joint staff, Vermont National Guard. “We are excited to work together and discover where the opportunities are for both of us.”
The Austrian and Vermont Guardsmen also visited the Army Mountain Warfare School and Army Aviation Support Facility.
“We have a long history with the Republic of Austria through our Army Mountain Warfare School and the International Association of Military Mountaineering Schools. As we initiate this partnership, we know there is so much more opportunity that comes with it,” U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Greg Knight, Vermont National Guard adjutant general. “As we have seen with both North Macedonia and Senegal, we are finding additional ways beyond the traditional military-to-military relationship to further enhance our partnership.”
The signing ceremony recognizing the partnership is scheduled this spring, making the Vermont National Guard the fifth National Guard with three partners. The Vermont National Guard has partnered with North Macedonia in Europe since 1994 and Senegal in Africa since 2008.