June 16, 2009
We got off to a great start at the 2009 EUCOM State Partnership Program Conference. National Guard Bureau Chief, General McKinley, set the stage with his opening remarks about how SPP has matured over the past 15 years, but noted that we need to be "on a vector to make it better." That charge from the Chief opened the floor for some lively, honest and thought-provoking debate about how we at EUCOM, along with our 20 SPP TAGs (Adjutant Generals), and our Component Commands, can communicate and work better to improve the program. A take away for me and my staff is to find ways to bridge the communication gap between our TAGs and our Component Commands -- USAFE (United States Air Forces Europe) and USAREUR (United States Army Europe). The State Partnership Program is a tool of the EUCOM Commander's Theater Security Cooperation plan. It can and should be a multiplier for the component commands as well. We haven't done a great job making that happen. We're going to fix that.