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Indiana National Guard and Nigerien state partners establish foundation

By Sgt. 1st Class Lasima Packett, Indiana National Guard August 16, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana National Guard hosted its Nigerien partners from the Ministry of Defense for a three-day seminar, August 11 through 13.

The seminar facilitated by the Security Cooperation Studies and Exercises Program was designed to deliver regional education focused on the partnership between the Indiana National Guard and Republic of Niger.

"This seminar provided Indiana Guard members a solid knowledge base on the cultural, regional and socio-political framework on the country of Niger," said Maj. Gen. Courtney P. Carr, Indiana's adjutant general.

The three-day seminar was hosted on behalf of the National Guard Bureau. The SCSEP brought in interagency experts to offer varied perspectives on the political, economic and social issues that affect the region.

"The purpose of this event was to generate knowledge, interest and ideas for establishing our new state partnership with Niger," said Lt. Col. Bradley Compton, the international programs director. "Having this opportunity to bring in world-class experts and scholars from around the world to speak with our service members is crucial to developing a lasting relationship."

The Nigerien delegation was able to meet with Indiana National Guard leaders and tour local facilities, showcasing the organization's capabilities.

"This experience has enabled our leaders and partners to understand, visualize,and assess potential opportunities," said Carr.

Colonel-Major Salifou Wakasso, deputy commander of the Gendarmerie Nationale, led the Nigerien delegation. This was the first time members of the Nigerien Ministry of Defense visited Indiana.

The two entered into a partnership in January, made possible through the National Guard Bureau's State Partnership Program.

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