The West Virginia/Peru State Partnership Program (SPP) was formalized in 1996. In just over 20 years, Peru and West Virginia have partnered together for more than 120 interactions between the forces providing insight into regional challenges facing the Andean Ridge, especially in the areas of counter-insurgency, anti-terrorism, emergency preparedness, risk mitigation, disaster response and recovery.
In 2012, the WVNG participated in New Horizons in Pisco, Peru where 45 Engineers built two (2) community buildings and 30 Communications Airmen placed cable and wire inside those buildings. That same year, the WVNG participated in the interagency coordination conference in support of the GoP Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations responsible for coordination of whole of government efforts in the Amazonia region near the border with Colombia. This conference set the tone for greater coordination among GoP agencies for the execution of this strategy.
The partnership tends to be strong militarily, and is becoming more recognized within the Peruvian Army and Air Forces. Interest in developing Weapons of Mass Destruction Units similar to the Civil Support Teams (CST) and Chemical, Biological, Radiological/Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) - Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) has become of interest along with Reserve Component stand-up in previous years.
The West Virginia and Peru Partnership has matured to a point where civilian to civilian events will become more frequent. Our goal is to engage state funded universities and state officials to develop those relationships that can continue engaging with their own funding.
The WVNG has also established a civilian school “Skype” exchange between high schools and elementary schools in WV and Peru. These have been so successful that the Peruvian Air Force has requested to partner with nine (9) of their high schools and expect the Peruvian Navy to request the same.
Our Peruvian partnership has created an enduring and important working relationship that enables unique training opportunities for all involved parties, particularly in the realm of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, engineering, military police, peacekeeping, and interagency work.