Bosnian Ambassador visits Maryland National Guard
-Story and photos by 2nd Lt. Jessica Donnelly
The newly appointed Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United States visited the Maryland National Guard, Sept. 18 2012, to greet senior leadership to ensure the lasting partnership between the BiH and the MDNG.
Ambassador Jadranka Negodić, who assumed the position in mid-July, met with Maj. Gen. James A. Adkins, the adjutant general of Maryland, to discuss the State Partnership Program between MDNG and BiH, which has been in place since 2003.
“I think it is very important to come here and see you because of the partnership,” said Negodić. “It’s an important relationship on our journey to reach NATO membership.”
The SPP allows for the partner nations to learn from each other. Depending on the mission, BiH Armed Forces may come to Maryland, or Marylanders will visit BiH to learn different skills. Currently, members of the BiH Armed Forces are scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan alongside the 115th Military Police Battalion later this year.
Negodić explained that because of the partnership, it is not only bringing training to the armed forces, but also security, stability and a chance at a better future for the country.
“I want to thank you for all of your support,” added Negodić. “We know how much you can help, and we appreciate the relationship.”
The National Guard’s 65-nation, 20-year-old State Partnership Program provides unique partnership capacity-building capabilities to combatant commander and U.S. ambassadors through partnerships between U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia and foreign countries. The SPP was launched in Europe as part of the initial outreach by the United States to new democracies in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
The Maryland Military Department has another partnership with Estonia that has been in place since 1993.
“It’s a difficult journey with lots of challenges and it takes time, but we both benefit from it,” said Adkins. “There is no higher priority than making these partnerships work.”