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Partnership extends from Columbia to Colombia

Col. Mike Hudson, 169th Fighter Wing Commander at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., speaks with members of a Colombian delegation during their tour of base facilities July 24, 2012. The visit occurred one day after announcing the State Partnership between South Carolina and the Republic of Colombia. The historic bilateral partnership will promote mutual capabilities, national security objectives and long term stability.
(SCANG photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson)

Col. Mike Hudson, 169th Fighter Wing Commander at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., speaks with members of a Colombian delegation during their tour of base facilities July 24, 2012. The visit occurred one day after announcing the State Partnership between South Carolina and the Republic of Colombia. The historic bilateral partnership will promote mutual capabilities, national security objectives and long term stability. (SCANG photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson)

Col. Mike Hudson, 169th Fighter Wing Commander at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., and members of a Colombian delegation pose for a photo during a tour of base facilities July 24, 2012. The visit occurred one day after announcing the State Partnership between South Carolina and the Republic of Colombia. The historic bilateral partnership will promote mutual capabilities, national security objectives and long term stability.
(SCANG photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson)

Col. Mike Hudson, 169th Fighter Wing Commander at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., and members of a Colombian delegation pose for a photo during a tour of base facilities July 24, 2012. The visit occurred one day after announcing the State Partnership between South Carolina and the Republic of Colombia. The historic bilateral partnership will promote mutual capabilities, national security objectives and long term stability. (SCANG photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson)

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston Jr., the adjutant general for South Carolina National Guard, announce the commencement of South Carolina National Guard's state partnership with the Republic of Colombia July 23, 2012. Colombian Vice Minister of Defense Jorge Enrique Bedoya and Gov. Haley signed the partnership proclamation establishing this historic bilateral relationship prior to the press conference. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Tracci Dorgan) RELEASED

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston Jr., the adjutant general for South Carolina National Guard, announce the commencement of South Carolina National Guard's state partnership with the Republic of Colombia July 23, 2012. Colombian Vice Minister of Defense Jorge Enrique Bedoya and Gov. Haley signed the partnership proclamation establishing this historic bilateral relationship prior to the press conference. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Tracci Dorgan) RELEASED

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, South Carolina -- South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Colombian Vice Minister of Defense Jorge Enrique Bedoya recently signed a partnership proclamation formally establishing a bilateral relationship between South Carolina and the Republic of Colombia in the National Guard's State Partnership Program.

The signing and announcement were made during a ceremony at the South Carolina statehouse. Distinguished visitors from Colombia, the Colombian Embassy in Washington D.C., the United States Embassy in Bogotá, U.S. Southern Command, the National Guard Bureau and the South Carolina National Guard were on hand to witness this historic occasion.

The National Guard's SPP links U.S. states with partner countries for the purposes of supporting the objectives and goals of the geographic combatant commander and the U.S. Ambassador. The SPP promotes national security objectives, country and regional stability, partner nation capacity and improved understanding and trust throughout the world.

The bilateral relationship between South Carolina and Colombia is the 64th state partnership in the program's history.

"We have a new friend today that the Republic of Colombia has found with the state of South Carolina. We are very excited about this new relationship," Bedoya said.