AZ Air Guard, Kazakhstan exchange emergency response concepts

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Tinashe Machona
  • 161st Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
The 161st Air Refueling Wing hosted a delegation of officers from the Republic of Kazakhstan March 31 to exchange emergency response concepts and further relations as part of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program.


The State Partnership Program connects the National Guard in each state with a partner nation’s military in order to enhance security cooperation. Arizona and the Central Asian nation established their partnership in 1993.


“Arizona has had a successful 24-year relationship with Kazakhstan in the State Partnership Program,” said Army Col. Paul Wagner, the delegation host from Arizona’s Joint Force Headquarters. Wagner said the program has been conducive to both Arizona and Kazakhstan, as it provides an opportunity for both parties to exchange ideas for organizing, training and equipping military forces.


“The central focus of this visit is emergency management, where we showcase the inter-organizational co-operation between local, state and federal agencies facilitated by Arizona’s Department of Emergency and Military Affairs,” said Army Maj. Kevin Budak, State Partnership Program coordinator for the Arizona National Guard.


The Kazakh delegation toured the 161st to get a first-hand look at the resources available to Airmen if they were activated to assist civilian authorities during an emergency or disaster – specifically gear and equipment used by security forces, medical personnel, and civil engineers.