NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga — Nevada National Guard senior noncommissioned officers recently met with Tongan soldiers to conduct bilateral training for NCOs.
Command Sgt. Maj. Jared Kopacki, the Nevada Guard’s senior enlisted leader, and Chief Master Sgt. Michael Drisdale, the Nevada Guard’s state command chief, talked with their Tongan contemporaries to discuss a wide range of topics, including the role, rank structure, discipline and responsibilities of NCOs.
On April 11, 2014, the Nevada National Guard signed a Declaration of Partnership with the Kingdom of Tonga under the auspice of the National Guard Bureau’s State Partnership Program. The State Partnership Program links a unique component of the Department of Defense — a state’s National Guard — with the armed forces of a partner country in a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship.
The SPP is administered by the National Guard Bureau, guided by State Department foreign policy goals, and executed by the adjutants general in support of combatant commanders and Department of Defense policy goals.
This most recent meeting is just one of many future joint training opportunities planned for each year, which will allow both parties to incorporate relevant civil and military advances in their respective regions. It was funded by United States Pacific Command, through the Asia-Pacific Regional Initiatives funds in support of the National Guard State Partnership Program.