Virginia National Guard Partners with Finnish Military

Governor Youngkin of the American state of Virginia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to officially sponsor and partner with Finland under the State Partnership Program with the National Guard and the Finnish military.

Defense Minister Antti Hakkanen commented that the cooperation between the Virginia National Guard and the Finnish military will stretch across the Finnish Army, Air Force, and cyber actors. He said:

“These areas of cooperation support the development of Finland’s defence and complement the existing cooperation with the United States.”

The State Partnership Program is borne from the Joint Contact Team Program (JCTP) of 1992 which was originally formed to build up the military and civil defense capabilities of former Warsaw-Pact nations. However, the program has thus expanded to a global footprint, including 106 nations from USEUCOM, SOUTHCOM, AFRICOM, CENTCOM, NORTHCOM, and INDOPACOM.

Partner states in SPP as of February 2023 (does not include Finland)

Finland is now the second nation to partner with the Virginia National Guard after Tajikistan in 2003.