Monthly Archives: February 2022

January-February Newsletter

Dear all, the January-February’s Newsletter with the spotlight ‘Interview with the NATO Air Command Spokesman’ has been just published. You can view it on the Newsletters page.  Have a safe, happy and blessed week ahead.  Editor in Chief


The International Military Chiefs of Chaplains Conference Hosted by U.S European Command

This year’s International Military Chiefs of Chaplains Conference ‘IMCCC’ took place on the virtual platform from February2-3, hosted by the United States (U.S European Command). The conference brought together over 100 military chaplains from 40 countries of NATO members and partner nations across the world.

The theme of this year evolved on ‘Religious Freedom’ 

“Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and the first among rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, as well as many constitutions in the world.”……….

“Religious freedom provides the right to think, express, and act upon what one deeply believes.” highlighted USEUCOM Chaplain (U.S. Air Force Col.) Kleet Barclay. ©USEUCOM Feb.04. 2022

The IMCCC is an annual event established and hosted originally by the U.S European Command ‘USEUCOM’ in Stuttgart in February 1990. Since then the conference has been held every year in different parts of the world hosted by the members and representatives of NATO states and partner nations. The United States ‘USEUCOM’ supports the conference as its co-host every year.

One of the main spheres of this yearly military event is to explore and build the shared values, spirituality, religious support, understanding of other faiths and beliefs , and enduring friendship.

“We are deeply unified by our shared human connection of faith and yearning for peace.” expressed Dr. Franz-Josef Overbeck, the Catholic bishop of the German armed forces in The International Military Chiefs of Chaplains Conference in 2020 © U.S Army


By  Catherine S. Schmidt, Editor in Chief  

Sources: U.S European Command/U.S. Air Force Captain Christina Judd/U.S Army

U.S National Guard and its State Partnership Program-5 Vermont National Guard

Since its establishment in 1993 by the department of Defense, and implemented by the various State’s National Guards, the State Partnerships program (SPP) has been a pivotal contributor to the world’s stability, security and peace. Up to the recent times, the State Partnership Program has reached over 85 partnerships with 92 nations across the globe, creating the most comprehensive U.S military cooperation and partnerships with the world.

Vermont National Guard is among the five States National Guards which have three State Partnership Programs, by having its ‘SPP’ in two continents, three countries. From 1993 with the North Macedonia; from 2008 with the Republic of Senegal. And in October 2021 formed a new State Partnership Programs with the Republic of Austria.   “I am excited to see our new partnership with Austria facilitate cooperation across all aspects of international civil-military affairs and encourage people-to-people ties at the state level. And I of course look forward to welcoming our new friends from Austria to Vermont.” Elaborated Lt. Governor Gray on the Vermont National Guard and the Republic of Austria State Partnership, October 15, 2021 ©Office of the Lieutenant Governor of State of Vermont

Vermont’s cooperation with North Macedonia, as part of the National Guard’s state partnership program, has been a long, challenging, and very successful journey for over 26 years,” expressed U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Greg Knight, Vermont’s adjutant general. March 2020 ©Vermont National Guard 

In additional to the State Partnership Program, the Vermont National Guard has been part of the U.S deployment in support of U.S military and NATO operations including:

  • In Romania, to support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan
  • In Kosovo, in support of NATO-led KFOR operation
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina, in support of NATO-led peacekeeping
  • Horn of Africa Djibouti, in support of Combined Joint Task Force

Added to that, around the globe in different continents and regions–the Vermont National Guard has been simultaneously an indispensable contributor to the large number of humanitarian relief operations. Just to name a few in the recent epoch: building bridges, schools and assisting educational and economic development projects, hosting medical and military training and exercises, supporting Afghanistan evacuation, supporting the Department of State temporarily housing for the Afghan evacuees.


By Editor in Chief 

Acknowledgments: Image: senior leaders with the Vermont National Guard, Austrian Defence Attache staff and personnel from the Office of the Secretary of Defense outside the Pentagon on Oct. 15, 2021.©Vermont National Guard public affairs/Courtesy photo. Sources: Vermont National Guard, National Guard, and U.S Army.