NCNG Hosts Moldova Ambassador

Raleigh

Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, adjutant general of North Carolina hosted Igor Munteanu, ambassador of the Republic of Moldova to the United States at Joint Forces Headquarters in Raleigh, Nov. 6.

The N.C. National Guard opened the door to a mutually-rewarding relationship with Moldova, as part of the State Partnership for Peace Program, through which have poured numerous engagements from governmental agencies including philanthropic, religious, academic and business organizations.

"North Carolina has given confidence to the people of Moldova to continue pursuit of their democratic ideals," Lusk said. “We should all be proud of our efforts that are more important than ever due to the regional security challenges playing out in Moldova's neighbor, Ukraine.”

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The National Guard State Partnership Program began in 1993 as a military operation, but has become a conduit for civilian participation and international growth.  The N.C. National Guards sends a bilateral affairs officer to Moldova and Botswana. The program has resulted in teamwork, lasting relationships, camaraderie and professionalism and makes positive impacts on each nation and region.

Army Maj. Chris Rogers is the bilateral affairs officer for Moldov, and Army Maj. Kevin Hinton is the  BAO for  Botswana. 

Rogers has been in Moldova for more than two years.  He said the assignment has been  challenging and fulfilling.
"On any given day, I may be meeting with the top political and military leaders of Moldova discussing how the U.S. can help develop their military and the next day, I am assisting a humanitarian organization from North Carolina get medical supplies delivered to a local community," Rogers said.  "Engaging with local communities and overseeing humanitarian assistance programs through the Department of Defense has been a highlight, both personally and professionally.

I have personally witnessed the contributions of NCNG’s professional Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen; they are truly remarkable. Facilitating great training events for the NCNG and the Moldovan Army is another high point of this job. I have lost count of the number of times the North Carolina National Guard has been credited and thanked for their hard work and support to Moldova, especially during recent unrest and crisis in Ukraine. It is something we as a force, should be incredibly proud of and work harder than ever to ensure the continued success in our almost 20-year partnership."

Hinton, is  assigned for two years to the U.S. Embassy in Botswana, Africa.  He and his family live and work with other members of the U.S. Embassy Country Team.  His main focus in Botswana is to coordinate engagements between the state of North Carolina and Botswana. He coordinates the military-to-military exchanges between the N.C. National Guard and the Botswana Defense Force, and he and his staff logg many late hours.   

"The BAO position is demanding, but very rewarding," Hinton said. "I work with the U.S. State Department and other agencies, as well as private and non-governmental entities to strengthen civilian-to-civilian bilateral relationships under the umbrella of the State Partnership Program. 

"The staff here is great. They are the continuity for this program and truly passionate about their work. We plan engagements from the concept stage straight through the transistion stage, handing the event off to the visiting U.S. Team and BDF. The N.C. National Guard conducts roughly 90 percent of all military-to-military engagements in Botswana and we also handle all military-to-military engagements of other force providers from the active Army, Marines and Air Force."

 

Recent articles on Moldova and Botswana:

Moldova Extends Contract for Russian Gas through 2015
Radio-Free Europe

As Diamond Minds Decline, Botswana Searches for New Way to Shine 
The Christian Science Monitor

 

 

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Contact: NCNG Public Affairs Office
Phone: (919) 664-6242

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