Story by MAJ MICHAEL PETERSEN on 03/29/2019HARTFORD, Conn. Maj. Gen. Fran Evon, Adjutant General and Commander of the Connecticut National Guard joined Capt. Gregory C. Rothrock, Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center, signed a joint memorandum of understanding during a ceremony at the Gov. William A. O'Neill Armory, Friday, March 29.
The MOU will pave the way for the two organizations to explore mutually-beneficial partnerships and potentially collaborate on a number of different endeavors in the realms of cyber, intelligence, Arctic operations and concept development.
"The Connecticut Military Department, specifically the Connecticut National Guard, has a long history of interagency cooperation to better serve the state and nation," Evon said. "We are excited to work with the Coast Guard to share ideas and develop new, innovative methods that will help shape the future of our organizations."
During the signing, Evon addressed the gathered audience of Guardsmen, Military Department Employees and Coast Guard Research and Development personnel, referring to the partnership as an important step in the right direction for, "Connecticut's Home Team," referring to the CTNG.
The Coast Guard Research and Development Center is located in New London, Connecticut, and was, "established in 1968 to answer the service's need to increase efforts to discover new concepts and develop technological improvements necessary to meet present and future mission requirements," according to its website.
"The Coast Guard Research and Development Center has been part of the Connecticut community since 1974," said Rothrock. "Signing an MOU with our home state's National Guard leverages the capabilities of both organizations towards common interests. We are excited that by working together we increase our opportunities to impact our combined services and the citizens we support."
The Connecticut Military Department consists of the Connecticut Army National Guard, Connecticut Air National Guard and the Governor's Foot and Horse Guard Units of the State Militia. In total, the organization encompasses more than 5,000 Guardsmen, Militia Members and Employees.
"We are committed to providing state-of-the-art training and equipment to Connecticut's Guardsmen in order to ensure we remain a ready, relevant force," Evon said. "Partnering with an in-state entity like the Coast Guard's Research and Development Center was a no-brainer, and we can't wait to get to work."
Connecticut is the second state National Guard to partner with the USCG R&D after an agreement was reached with the Ohio National Guard in 2018.