Wisconsin National Guard and PNGDF Collaborate

The Adjutant General of the Wisconsin National Guard, Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp led a delegation of 40 members to Papua New Guinea over the weekend.

The trip was to embark on a week-long collaboration and subject matter expert exchange with the Papua New Guinea Defence Force under the State Partnership Program.

The partnership between the Wisconsin National Guard and Papua New Guinea, initiated in 2020, has seen significant strides with multiple key leader engagements and site visits aimed at bolstering bilateral relations.

During this exchange, high-level meetings between leadership from both nations are scheduled, alongside subject matter expert exchanges covering topics such as senior non-commissioned officer leadership, medical techniques, security best practices, and aircraft maintenance procedures.

Maj. Gen. Knapp emphasized the importance of these exercises, stating, "We are exercising agile combat employment and distributed operations, to rehearse how we would deploy to distant locations if we were called to do so."

The historical ties between the Wisconsin National Guard and Papua New Guinea trace back to World War II, where the 32nd "Red Arrow" Infantry Division, composed of Wisconsin and some Michigan National Guard units, fought valiantly through multiple campaigns in Papua New Guinea.

Captain Florian Waitl, command historian with the Wisconsin National Guard, underscored the significance of this partnership by noting, "This partnership with Papua New Guinea signifies the return of the Wisconsin National Guard working shoulder-to-shoulder with the local forces just as they did back in 1942."

This collaboration is emblematic of the State Partnership Program's mission, fostering enduring cooperation, friendship, and mutually beneficial relationships between individual states and partner nations worldwide.

Wisconsin's partnership with Nicaragua, established in 2003, further demonstrates the state's commitment to global engagement and collaboration.

Author: 
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