Building Partnerships

The National Guard Bureau hopes to add four new state partnerships to its portfolio in 2014, including one in Tonga, which is “real close” to being finalized, said NGB Chief Army Gen. Frank Grass on Wednesday’s during AFA’s 2013 Air and Space Conference. The Guard currently has 65 state partnerships across the globe, allowing the Defense Department to build military-to-military ties with allies at the cost of just $9 million to $13 million per year, said Grass. US Africa Command also has asked for more partnerships, noted Grass. “Libya is one they want really bad,” he said during the media availability following his speech. “They want a partnership with Libya quickly; we’re working through that.” However, he said it might take awhile before that partnership is finalized. “We need to get the right mix of where they want to take the Libyan military in the future. It’s not a place we will have a large footprint at all. And, we’ll probably train somewhere else,” said Grass.