The State Partnership Program (SPP) links U.S. states and partner nations in support of mutual interests. The goal of the program is to establish broad reaching, friendly ties between partner states and partner countries at all levels of society utilizing the National Guard as the catalyzing force and means of support.
For the past 11 years, the South Dakota National Guard and Suriname Defense Force have successfully partnered together to established a security cooperation relationship in coordination with USSOUTHCOM under the National Guard Bureau's State Partnership Program. The partnership has flourished during the past decade becoming a model for mutual security cooperation.
Since 2006, service members from the South Dakota National Guard and Suriname have conducted over 120 engagement activities in support of USSOUTHCOM cooperation objectives with Suriname, including defeating transnational criminal networks, promoting response capacity for natural disasters and providing humanitarian relief, building partnership capacity for peacekeeping operation missions, enhancing regional access and advancing security sector reform.
• Improve military interoperability between US and partner nation forces
• Demonstrate military support to civilian authorities
• Assist with the development of democratic institutions
• Foster open market economies to help develop stability
• Project and represent U.S. humanitarian values
Recent Significant Exchanges:
In 2017 there were 61 subject matter expert participants that took part in 13 significant exchanges, which included land search and rescue operations, force management, HAZMAT planning and prevention, officer professional development, and an engineer mission to help renovate parts of a school in Paramaribo. In addition to the participants identified above, about 200 additional individuals from the SDNG, Suriname Defense Force, U.S. State Department and U.S. SOUTHCOM directly participated with the experts during the exchanges. The SDNG also participated in the SOUTHCOM Security Cooperation Unit Opportunity Training Program, sending 10 Soldiers to Suriname in support of renovations for a local school. The project included restroom improvements and the addition of a teacher’s office. The service members spent nine days on the renovations, which included panel construction, electrical, plumbing, tiling and painting.