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Uruguay Military Visits Connecticut Guard for State Partnership Anniversary
Uruguay Military Visits CT Guard for State Partnership Anniversary
Sgt. Alicia M Brocuglio, 130th Public Affairs Detachment
Members of the Connecticut National Guard hosted Uruguayan military officers last week at Camp Nett at Niantic in celebration of the 20-year anniversary of their State Partnership Program (SPP) and to enhance their beneficial relationship.
“When we were assigned to work with Uruguay back in 2000 it worked out perfectly,” said Captain Pedro Concolino, Director of the State Partnership Program for the Connecticut National Guard. “We have similar populations, similar climate, similar capabilities to the three branches as the Uruguayan military. It was very fortuitous that we were partnered with Uruguay, ” he said.
Major Gen. Miguel Giordano, Uruguayan Defense Attach to the US Colonel Hugo Parentini, Uruguayan Air Attach to the US, Captain Leonardo Luz, Uruguayan Naval Attach to the U.S. toured multiple facilities in Connecticut during their visit. The officers were accompanied with a team of Connecticut service members that have been working with SPP.
“The purpose of the partnership flight tour was to familiarize the Uruguayans with the capabilities we have here in the state as their partner. And also to start a conversation about their interests,” said Concolio.
The tour included a visit to the Coast Guard station in New Haven, the 928th Military Police Detachment, and 2nd Company Governors Horse Guard in Newtown, and the 103rd Air Wing and Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group in Groton.
“We are improving our relationship with each other every day in training and in our future exercises. That is important and I am excited for that,” said Capt. Leonardo Luz, Uruguayan Naval Attach to the United States. “Its very important that we see the maintenance for aviation because what they do here is incredible so we learn from that,” he said.
During the tours the Uruguayan military officers spoke with Connecticut service members and learned about the training and capabilities of the Connecticut National Guard, to include rotary wing maintenance, and working dog tasks.
“I would say the largest milestone,” Concolio added, “is we have also been actively assisting the Uruguayans in developing their military working dog program. Just this year Uruguay was assigned to peacekeeping mission and it will be their first time they are deploying working dogs.”
As part of the continued anniversary celebration the Capitn Miranda, a tall ship Uruguayan Navy training vessel, docked at the New London pier. The vessel first visited New London in 2000.
Concolio said, “Coordination started a year ago, the Capitn Miranda was in dry dock for 13 years so this is the first time its back in the United States specifically Connecticut since 2000. That is a momentous occasion because there is a long heritage of ships serving as vehicles of diplomacy. Really and truly that is a piece of foreign soil coming to visit. The Capitn Miranda coming up was a huge deal on many levels. “
The SPP is important to both the Connecticut National Guard and the Uruguayan military. There are many similarities between the state of Connecticut and Uruguay that made both parties are thankful and made the unique pairing successful.
“We have been in a partnership for 20 years, so we know each other, said Major General Miguel Giordano, Uruguay Defense Attach to the United States. We share knowledge and training, and when we come here we are very well treated. We are more than partners we are friends.”