Guard continues support of Security Cooperation 

4/1/2011 

Soldier on lookout 
Capt. Jason Merchant, a company commander in the Iowa National Guard’s 133rd Infantry Regiment, and 1st Lt. Rastum, an executive officer in the Afghan National Army,  scan the area along a highway being built north of Combat Outpost Najil, Afghanistan.  The Army Guard is committed to participating in security cooperation events across the spectrum of conflict in support of combatant commanders.

Army Guard Security Cooperation

According to JCS Pub 1-02, Security Cooperation includes: "All Department of Defense (DoD) interactions with foreign defense establishments to build defense relationships that promote specific U.S. security interests, develop allied and friendly military capabilities for self-defense and multinational operations, and provide U.S. forces with peacetime and contingency access to a host nation."

From an Army National Guard’s perspective, Security Cooperation forces are mobilized to engage in "self-defense and multi-national operations."

Army National Guard activities

The Army Guard has a long history of Security Cooperation engagement. Engagement activities include building partnerships, mostly military-to-military; peacekeeping; providing national and security assistance; and conducting humanitarian, counter-drug, and counter-terrorism operations.

Each year, the guard provides over 60 percent of the soldiers requested by the Army Service Component Commands to support military exercises worldwide.

For example, in 2010, Army National Guard provided about 25,000 soldiers to support 48 military exercises in 104 partner countries. Key exercises include Beyond the Horizons in Central America, Yama Sakura in Japan, Austere Challenge in Germany and Bright Star in Egypt.

In 2010 the guard’s State Partnership Program (SPP) provided approximately 4,000 soldiers to participate in key military exchanges with 62 SPP partner countries, to include the National Guard’s mobilization and deployment of agribusiness development teams (ADT) in Afghanistan.

These ADTs are a good example of the National Guard building partnerships as an operational force that is actively engaged in an era of persistent conflict across the spectrum of conflict.

Guard plans for the future

In addition to its ADTs, the guard has proposed creating conceptually similar security assist and advise teams to meet other specialized requirements of the geographic combatant commanders for those countries at risk within the technical areas of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives consequence management, disaster preparedness, border and port security, counter drug, and military professional development.

The Army Guard is committed to participating in security cooperation events across the spectrum of conflict in support of combatant commander Theater Security Cooperation Plans.

Importance to Army Guard

Security Cooperation gains importance as the guard addresses its force "relevancy" and "balance," and continues to maintain a driving operating tempo as an operational force within the Army.