Legislation Boosts State Partnership

Washington Report

(March 31, 2015) Rep. Madeleine Bordallo, D-Guam, has introduced the State Partnership Program Enhancement Act of 2015, which would strengthen the National Guard State Partnership Program and build a strong permanent legal foundation for this critical "soft power" global partnership program.  The current authorization for the program expires at the end of fiscal 2016.

The SPP supports national interests and security cooperation goals by engaging partner nations via military, socio-political and economic conduits at the local, state and national levels. SPP evolved from a U.S. European Command decision in 1991 to set up an outreach program in the Baltic region with reserve-component members.  It has grown into a global endeavor, becoming a key U.S. security cooperation tool across all aspects of international civilian-military affairs providing international security solutions in support of national and defense strategy. SPP provides unique capacity building capabilities to combatant commanders and U.S. chiefs of mission supporting 68 partnerships with 74 partner nations.

This bipartisan bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., and Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., fortifies the fiscal 2014 codification of this important program.  

A Senate companion bill will be introduced after the congressional recess.