Indiana–Slovakia National Guard Partnership

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IndianaSlovakia State Partnership
Origin 1993
Country President Ivan Gašparovič
Prime Minister Robert Fico
Minister of Defense Martin Glváč
Ambassador to U.S. Peter Kmec
Ambassador to Slovakia Theodore Sedgwick
Adjutant General MG Martin Umbarger
2012 Engagements 6[1]
Current ISAF Pax 234
NATO member Yes (2004)
EU member Yes (2004)

The Indiana–Slovakia National Guard Partnership is one of 22 European partnerships that make-up the U.S. European Command State Partnership Program and one of 65 worldwide partnerships that make-up the National Guard State Partnership Program.[2] Since its inception in 1994, the Indiana and Slovakia partnership has grown steadily in its offerings, training events, and personnel.

Indiana National Guard and Slovak troops train for medical evacuations in Slovakia
Soldiers from Slovakia, the United States, and Australia at a Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan
Indiana Adjutant General and Slovak Chief of Defense shake hands on the steps of the Indiana War Memorial, Indianapolis.
Members of Slovak Armed Forces train with the 181st Intelligence Wing in Indiana
Indiana Guardsmen complete training in Slovakia with members of Slovak Armed Forces
Indiana National Guard family members wait for their Soldiers to return after a 10-month deployment to Afghanistan, December 2011


"There are few subjects as important to me as our State Partnership Program with Slovakia. This is an extraordinary program, which has far exceeded our expectations. We have learned, we have shared and we have been enriched." - MG Martin Umbarger, Adjutant General, Indiana National Guard[3]


  • Indiana-Slovakia Partnership since 1994
  • NATO member since 2004.
  • EU member since 1 May 2004
  • UN member since 31 July 1992
  • Full partner in NATO
  • Executed over 200 bi-lateral events since partnership began
  • Participated in KFOR 2004-2010
  • Participating in Cyprus UN Mission
  • Slovakia’s military is made up of land, air, air defense and special forces
  • Advanced Economy based on increasing privatization of business characterized with high economic growth.[4]

When Czechoslovakia divided into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993, the Department of Defense and the U.S. State Department saw a great opportunity to become allies with these two new nations. The decision to partner Slovakia with Indiana came in large because in the late 1800s and early 1900s, many Slovak immigrants came to work in the factories in northern Indiana and were essential in making Indiana what it is today.[5] The two militaries have exchanged troops, techniques and training procedures in over 200 bi-lateral events since partnership began. Events have included, among other things:[6]

  • NCO Development
  • Flight Training
  • Fire Support Planning
  • Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield
  • Military Decision Making Process

In 2004, Slovakia realized the goal it had set from the start of the partnership - full NATO membership. Slovakia also gained membership into the European Union that same year.

As a further testament to the accomplishments of the Indiana-Slovakia partnership, Indiana Guardsmen and Slovak troops deployed side-by-side to Afghanistan in 2011. For 10 months, they served under the command of an SAF officer as an Operation Mentor and Liaison Team mentoring Afghan logistics troops.[7]

“The advancement of the Slovak military, from a Soviet Era Cold War style force to an ally who is currently fighting alongside our fellow Indiana Guardsmen in Afghanistan is truly remarkable. We were welcomed not only as allies, but as friends and brothers-in-arms amid the backdrop of a beautiful countryside filled with genuinely hospitable people.” - COL Ron Westfall, Director of Plans, Operations, and Readiness, Indiana National Guard[8]

Partnership focus[edit]

2013 Panned Events:

  • Disaster Response Crisis Management
  • Cyber Security
  • CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive)
  • Rotary Wing Interoperability
  • MAT VI and MAT VII Training Development[9]

MG Umbarger, the Adjutant General of the Indiana National Guard, has taken on five significant initiatives for consideration in the coming years:[10]

  • Continued emphasis on Joint SAF/INNG Operational Mentor and Liaison Teams in Afghanistan
  • A study of the viability and parameters of a reserve force in Slovakia
  • Initiation of a query into a second partnership, possibly in Africa
  • Feasibility study into a joint partnership with Slovakia and a third nation
  • Slovakia and INNG mobilizing as a joint Agribusiness Development Team


  1. ^ "2012 SPP Events" (PDF). U.S. European Command. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 March 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "National Guard SPP". The National Guard. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  3. ^ KeepINNG_up. 2 (1): 2. 2012 Retrieved 28 January 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "Indiana-Slovakia SPP Data" (PDF). U.S. European Command. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "Origins of the Indiana-Slovakia SPP". Indiana National Guard. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Indiana SPP General Information". Indiana National Guard. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "Origins of the Indiana-Slovakia SPP". Indiana National Guard. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "State Partnership Program - Moving Forward". Indiana National Guard. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "Indiana-Slovakia SPP Data" (PDF). U.S. European Command. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "What's next for the Indiana SPP?". Indiana National Guard. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 

External links[edit]