On June 14, the U.S. State of Texas and the Arab Republic of Egypt formalized a long-term partnership under the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Program, the U.S. Embassy in Egypt reported.
Adjutant General of the State of Texas, Major General Tracy R. Norris and Egypt’s Assistant Minister of Defense for International Affairs signed the partnership declaration. Minister of Defense and Military Production General Mohamed Zaki, Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces Lieutenant General Mohamed Farid, U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Jonathan R. Cohen, and Chief of the U.S. National Guard Bureau General Daniel Hokanson witnessed the signing.
Ambassador Cohen welcomed General Hokanson and Major General Norris to Egypt, and looked forward to seeing the contributions of the State Partnership Program to U.S.-Egypt relations. “The State Partnership Program adds a new dimension to our forty-year tradition of working together to promote security in the Middle East and the Mediterranean,” Ambassador Cohen said.
General Hokanson stated: “This is a very proud day for the National Guard. Our 40-year strategic partnership with Egypt is built on common interests and mutual respect. Today’s signing adds a new, unique dimension to the long-term security collaboration that has served our respective nations well. We look forward to developing our mutually beneficial relationship with the Egyptian Armed Forces through key leader engagements, joint training exercises, and bilateral exchanges.”
Activities under this partnership will build on previous and ongoing cooperation efforts including the Texas National Guard’s regular participation in Exercise Bright Star. “We are looking forward to strengthening the relationship between our two forces,” said Maj. Gen. Norris. “We have a long history of supporting peacekeeping operations in this part of the world. This partnership gives Texas a major role in helping secure regional peace and security, and we are excited to be part of such an important mission.”
As part of the Texas National Guard’s program in Egypt, Major General Tracy R. Norris will meet with Egyptian Armed Forces leadership. Texas National Guard personnel and their Egyptian counterparts will also carry out multi-day training events and will discuss future exchanges and exercises in other areas of common interest.
For his part, Egypt’s Minister of Defense Mohamed Zaki expressed his pride in the strategic partnership relations between the Egyptian and US armed forces in various fields. He also noted his keenness on the importance of coordinating efforts and increasing the prospects for joint military cooperation between the two countries, local media reported.