New Jersey National Guard/Cyprus State Partnership begins new phase

  • Published
  • By 108th Wing
  • 204th Intelligence Squadron

In February 2024, security cooperation and training between the New Jersey National Guard and Republic of Cyprus commenced in full swing. 

New Jersey National Guard teams comprised of medical, cyber, civil engineering and information analysis deployed to Cyprus to train their Cypriot counterparts in their respective fields. Of note, is the specialized information analysis training team, comprised of certified air advisors from the 204th Intelligence Squadron, 108th Wing, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

“An air advisor’s core mission is to impart professional aviation knowledge and skills to foreign partnership nations to improve their airpower capabilities to meet both U.S. and partner nation objectives. They must graduate from the four-week Air Advisor Qualification course, taught at JB MDL, where they receive specialized training to apply aviation support and operational experience to train, advise, assist, and equip partner nations,” said Capt. John Hoff, State Partnership Program Information Analysis officer-in-charge, 204th IS.

While training began in earnest a month ago the stage was set in 2023 when the NJNG entered into a State Partnership agreement with the mediterranean nation of Cyprus. The training lines of effort established within this partnership include all-source information analysis, explosive ordinance disposal, cyber security, and tactical medical training. Throughout last year, New Jersey Guardsman traveled to Cyprus to conduct planning workshops, key leader engagements, and develop training plans.  

“What is unique about our information analysis training team is that we are literally building the capacity of our Cypriot partners. Overall, the Cypriot military is ground-maneuver-based, and does not have an information analysis infrastructure built into their operations and planning,” said Hoff. “We’re essentially building the information analytics occupation specialty code for their joint National Guard.” 

During our working groups last year, the Cypriot National Guard general staff hand selected 20 of their best and brightest comprised from the Cypriot Army, Air Force, Navy and Special Operations community. We will have the same 20 students all year long and have created a four-phased training program. Each phase consists of a one-week block of instruction. Phase one consists of critical thinking and structured analytical techniques; phase two consists of information preparation of the operating environment; phase three is current information briefs, threat reporting and military decision-making process; and phase four is fundamentals of open-source analysis. Upon completion of all four phases, students will be considered Basic Information Analyst qualified, and will serve as the initial group of cadre responsible for replicating this training into their respective branch of service,” said Hoff.

The National Guard State Partnership Program (SPP) is a Department of Defense initiative that supports the Security Cooperation objectives of the United States by developing relationships with partner countries. State Partnership missions focus on building partner nation military capacity, improving interoperability and enhancing U.S. relations. 

The program was established in 1993 and has grown to over 100 partner nations from all parts of the world. The National Guard of each state is paired with a partner nation that shares similar missions, equipment, resources, and skills sets to work together and conduct military training, exercises and key leadership engagements.