Ohio National Guard State Partnership Program: Serbia

Partner with the Republic of Serbia since 2006

In 1993, the Department of Defense established the State Partnership Program (SPP) and the Ohio National Guard was paired with the Hungarian Defence Forces as one of the initiative’s first partnerships.

The SPP links U.S. states with a partner country to promote regional stability and develop civil-military relationships. Since 2006, the Ohio-Serbia partnership is still going strong with the Ohio National Guard committing its forces to regularly conducting joint military exercises and senior military and civic leader visits.

SNAPSHOTS


Soldier watches virtual meeting on laptop.

05/20/2021
Medical partners

Adjutant General stands with Serbian leaders.

05/14/2021
Education partnership

Group posed for photo in front of steps inside the state house

05/14/2021
Ohio Statehouse tour

Hungarian Defence Forces volunteer soldiers.

01/19/2021
Virtual Training

×
Adjutant General stands with Serbian leaders.Paolo DeMaria (from left) superintendent of public instruction for the Ohio Department of Education, Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., Ohio adjutant general, Serbian Ambassador to the U.S. Marko Djuric and Randy Gardner, chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education, stand for a photo May 14, 2021, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. They were at a memorandum of understanding signing among the Ohio Department of Higher Education, Ohio Department of Education and Serbia’s Ministry of Education to pledge continued cooperation at the primary, secondary and higher education levels. The Ohio National Guard has been paired with Serbia for the past 15 years through the State Partnership Program. ~ Photo by Spc. Jessica Silhavy, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

PHOTO GALLERY

"> Soldier watches virtual meeting on laptop.Lt. Col. Brian Bucher, Ohio National Guard State Partnership Program director, watches a live virtual event on social media, May 20, 2021, at the Maj. Gen. Robert S. Beightler Armory in Columbus, Ohio. This virtual engagement was conducted between medical professionals from the Ohio National Guard and the Serbian Military Medical Academy to discuss how weekly online seminars have allowed them to successfully share best practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. ~ Photo by Spc. Jessica Silhavy, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs"> Group posed for photo in front of steps inside the state houseSerbian Ambassador to the U.S. Marko Djuric and a contingent of Serbian Armed Forces chaplains recently toured the Statehouse in Columbus as part of a visit to Ohio. Djuric was in Ohio to participate in a Memorandum of Understanding signing among the Ohio Department of Higher Education, Ohio Department of Education and Serbia’s Ministry of Education to pledge continued cooperation at the primary, secondary and higher education levels. Ohio and Serbia have been conducting official exchanges since 2006 as part of the State Partnership Program. ~ Photo by Spc. Jessica Silhavy, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

PHOTO GALLERY

"> Hungarian Defence Forces volunteer soldiers.Members of the Ohio Army National Guard’s 837th Engineer Battalion conducted a State Partnership Program military-to-military virtual training conference Jan. 19-21, 2021, with Hungarian Defence Forces volunteer soldiers (pictured), in preparation for a bilateral training exercise between the HDF and Ohio National Guard in June at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La. The VTC was one of a series of events that have taken place to plan and prepare for the upcoming training event, which will integrate over 130 Hungarian soldiers with 2,000 members of Ohio’s 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. ~ Courtesy photo">


STORY ARCHIVE

Adjutant General stands with Serbian leaders.

  

Serbia, State of Ohio agencies continue education partnership

COLUMBUS, Ohio (5/14/21) — Paolo DeMaria (from left) superintendent of public instruction for the Ohio Department of Education, Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., Ohio adjutant general, Serbian Ambassador to the U.S. Marko Djuric and Randy Gardner, chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education, stand for a photo May 14, 2021, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. They were at a memorandum of understanding signing among the Ohio Department of Higher Education, Ohio Department of Education and Serbia’s Ministry of Education to pledge continued cooperation at the primary, secondary and higher education levels. The Ohio National Guard has been paired with Serbia for the past 15 years through the State Partnership Program. ~ READ STORY

  


Members stand for a group photo in lobby.

179th Medical Group members partner with Serbians for Medical Knowledge Exchange

MANSFIELD, Ohio (02/18/2020) — Medical professionals from Serbia have been teaming up with the Ohio Air National Guard as part of a Serbian and U.S. Medical Knowledge Exchange Team. ~READ STORY

2019


Ohio governor Mike DeWine stands with Serbian Prime Minister.

Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia visits Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (01/28/2019) — Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr. (second from right), Ohio adjutant general, and Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić (second from left) display a gift Harris presented to Brnabić during an official Serbian delegation visit Jan. 28, 2019, to the Ohio National Guard Joint Force Headquarters located at the Maj. Gen. Robert S. Beightler Armory in Columbus, Ohio. Also pictured are Serbian Ambassador to the U.S. Djerdj Matković (left) and Col. Dragan Galić (right), defense, military, naval and air attaché with the Serbian Embassy in the U.S. Brnabić led a Serbian delegation to Ohio to explore potential future agricultural and business exchanges, as well as meet with state government officials. ~READ STORY

Serbian chaplains visit Ohio to strengthen military, civil relationships

CLEVELAND (04/12/19) — Four members of the Serbian Armed Forces chaplain corps visited in April 2019 as part of the 13-year State Partnership Program pairing between the Ohio National Guard and Serbia. The chaplains visited the St. Sava Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church and Notre Dame College in Cleveland to interact with the ethnic Serbian community and strengthen military and civilian relationships between Serbia and Ohio. ~READ STORY

Airman guides woman fighting in ring.

178th defender teaches self-defense to women in Serbia

SPRINGFIELD-BECKLEY AIR GUARD BASE, Ohio (05/30/19) — A member from the 178th Wing travelled to Vranje, Serbia to teach basic combative techniques and self-defense to women in the local area from March 2-9. Staff Sgt. Brittney Robertson, a defender assigned to the 178th Security Forces Squadron, was one of three military members selected to teach the self-defense course. All three of the military members chosen are female military police in the Ohio National Guard. ~READ STORY

Soldiers standing in formation in open concrete area among buildings while looking up to officials in grand stand.

Platinum Wolf 19 gets underway with opening ceremony

SOUTH BASE, Serbia (06/03/19) — About 500 Soldiers representing 10 countries assembled June 3, 2019, at South Base, Serbia for the Platinum Wolf 19 opening ceremony. The two-week multinational training exercise is taking place June 3-18, 2019, at South Base and the Borovac Training Area. ~READ STORY

  

Members stand for a group photo at the Military Medical Academy.

Ohio, Serbia strengthen their 13-year partnership during CAPSTONE 2019

COLUMBUS, Ohio (10/11/2019) — Members of a visiting Ohio National Guard delegation stand for a photo with a group of Serbian Armed Forces members Sept. 12, 2019, at the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade, Serbia. The delegation met with staff members at the academy to discuss their capabilitie . ~READ STORY

2018


Group photo.

PAMBALA forges new friendships, provides hope for future

BENGO PROVINCE, Angola (01/04/18) — It was Henry Ford who once said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” It was that spirit that abounded at PAMBALA 2017, which took place Dec. 4-15. ~ READ STORY


Ohio National Guard continues building partnerships at Platinum Wolf 2018

SOUTH BASE, Serbia (06/11/18) — Nearly 45 members of the Ohio National Guard’s 838th Military Police Company arrived in the Republic of Serbia June 10 to participate in exercise Platinum Wolf.  ~ READ STORY


State Partnership grows spiritual relationships between Ohio and Serbia

VRANJE, Serbia (06/17/18) — It was an experience of a lifetime for the Rev. James Sizemore, an Ohio Army National Guard chaplain and lieutenant colonel, to participate in a Serbian Orthodox Divine Liturgy June 17 at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Vranje. ~ READ STORY


National Guard provides unimagined opportunities:
Soldier experiences first overseas deployment during Platinum Wolf 18

Military service is a tradition in her Family, so it was no surprise when Ohio Army National Guard Spc. Cheyanna Porter enlisted in the spring of 2015 and completed basic training during the summer between her junior and senior year of high school. ~ READ STORY


Platinum Wolf 18 offers multitude of opportunities to train, forge relationships

BOROVAC TRAINING AREA/SOUTH BASE, Serbia — Platinum Wolf 18 is a two-week multinational peacekeeping exercise that has brought more than 500 soldiers from 10 nations together to enhance military cooperation and interoperability, June 11-22. ~ READ STORY


Platinum Wolf 2018: Nonlethal weapons training

Members of the Ohio National Guard's 838th Military Police Company train participating member nations' soldiers in the use of the M26 shotgun during nonlethal weapons training at Platinum Wolf 2018. ~ READ STORY


Platinum Wolf 2018: ONG MPs take part in marksmanship competition

Soldiers from the Ohio National Guard's 838th Military Police Company compete with soldiers from nine other nations during a marksmanship competition at Platinum Wolf 2018. Platinum Wolf 18 is a two-week multinational peacekeeping exercise that has brought more than 500 soldiers from 10 nations together to enhance military cooperation and interoperability, June 11-22, 2018. ~ READ STORY


Exercise Platinum Wolf 2018 enhances cultural and religious understanding

SOUTH BASE, Serbia (06.19.2018) — Exercise Platinum Wolf 2018 brought 10 nations and more than 500 soldiers from around the world to Serbia’s South Base and Borovac Training area to participate in a multinational peacekeeping exercise. As the nations came together for the two-week event, they each brought unique cultural and religious differences that could pose challenges to communication, cooperation and interoperability, but that was not the case for this year’s exercise. ~ READ STORY


Interoperability through Partnership: Ohio National Guard strengthens both during multinational peacekeeping exercise

SOUTH BASE, Serbia (06/22/18) — In uncertain times, with many challenges in the world, focusing on the strong bonds established with partner nations around the globe will not only increase strength in peacetime, but will also improve capabilities during times of conflict, when they arise. ~ READ STORY



Ohio National Guard continues building partnerships at Platinum Wolf 2018

SOUTH BASE, Serbia (06/11/18) — Nearly 45 members of the Ohio National Guard’s 838th Military Police Company arrived in the Republic of Serbia June 10 to participate in exercise Platinum Wolf.  ~ READ STORY


State Partnership grows spiritual relationships between Ohio and Serbia

VRANJE, Serbia (06/17/18) — It was an experience of a lifetime for the Rev. James Sizemore, an Ohio Army National Guard chaplain and lieutenant colonel, to participate in a Serbian Orthodox Divine Liturgy June 17 at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Vranje. ~ READ STORY


National Guard provides unimagined opportunities:
Soldier experiences first overseas deployment during Platinum Wolf 18

Military service is a tradition in her Family, so it was no surprise when Ohio Army National Guard Spc. Cheyanna Porter enlisted in the spring of 2015 and completed basic training during the summer between her junior and senior year of high school. ~ READ STORY


Platinum Wolf 18 offers multitude of opportunities to train, forge relationships

BOROVAC TRAINING AREA/SOUTH BASE, Serbia — Platinum Wolf 18 is a two-week multinational peacekeeping exercise that has brought more than 500 soldiers from 10 nations together to enhance military cooperation and interoperability, June 11-22. ~ READ STORY


Platinum Wolf 2018: Nonlethal weapons training

Members of the Ohio National Guard's 838th Military Police Company train participating member nations' soldiers in the use of the M26 shotgun during nonlethal weapons training at Platinum Wolf 2018. ~ READ STORY


Platinum Wolf 2018: ONG MPs take part in marksmanship competition

Soldiers from the Ohio National Guard's 838th Military Police Company compete with soldiers from nine other nations during a marksmanship competition at Platinum Wolf 2018. Platinum Wolf 18 is a two-week multinational peacekeeping exercise that has brought more than 500 soldiers from 10 nations together to enhance military cooperation and interoperability, June 11-22, 2018. ~ READ STORY


Exercise Platinum Wolf 2018 enhances cultural and religious understanding

SOUTH BASE, Serbia (06.19.2018) — Exercise Platinum Wolf 2018 brought 10 nations and more than 500 soldiers from around the world to Serbia’s South Base and Borovac Training area to participate in a multinational peacekeeping exercise. As the nations came together for the two-week event, they each brought unique cultural and religious differences that could pose challenges to communication, cooperation and interoperability, but that was not the case for this year’s exercise. ~ READ STORY


Interoperability through Partnership: Ohio National Guard strengthens both during multinational peacekeeping exercise

SOUTH BASE, Serbia (06/22/18) — In uncertain times, with many challenges in the world, focusing on the strong bonds established with partner nations around the globe will not only increase strength in peacetime, but will also improve capabilities during times of conflict, when they arise. ~ READ STORY


Ohio National Guard senior leaders arrive in Serbia for State Partnership CAPSTONE

BELGRADE, Serbia (09/03/18) — Around 40 Ohio National Guard members have arrived in the Republic of Serbia for CAPSTONE 2018, a product of the Department of Defense’s State Partnership Program that pairs states’ National Guards with nations around the world in mutually-beneficial relationships. ~ READ STORY

Ohio National Guard partnership with Serbia thriving after CAPSTONE 2018

BELGRADE, Serbia (09/10/18) — The Department of Defense’s State Partnership Program asks that each state and their partner nation has the ability to conduct a variety of joint exercises and training events to enhance interoperability and cooperation between partner and allied nations while building relationships. The Ohio National Guard and Serbian Armed Forces have shown commitment and dedication to that strategic initiative for 12 years and counting. ~ READ STORY

Hungarian, Serbian and Ohio National Guard soldiers gather for a group photo after the culminating training event.

Hello Neighbors:
Annual exercise allows Ohio National Guard to integrate with Hungarian, Serbian State Partners

UJDOROGD, Hungary (09/20/18) — As the squads slowly moved forward into the village, the vicious chatter of machine gun fire erupted as they engaged enemy forces. Building by building, the teams painstakingly cleared each room; hand motions and short sharp commands are all the communication required. The enemy was routed, but not without injuries to the victors. Hobbling out, supported by two teammates, one soldier was assisted onto a helicopter, waiting to get the wounded to medical help. ~ READ STORY

SRBIJA 2018:
Multinational exercise shows that when disaster strikes, saving lives a universal language

MLADENOVAC, SERBIA (10/17/18) — Members of the Ohio National Guard participated in SRBIJA 2018 (Serbia 2018), a consequence management exercise that involved an earthquake scenario; a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear response; water rescue; and urban search and rescue, Oct. 8-11. ~ READ STORY

South Euclid, Ohio and Kraljevo, Serbia to connect through Sister Cities program

COLUMBUS, Ohio (09/05/18) — In a quickly globalizing world, interconnectedness has become easier and more fruitful. Over the last 12 years bonds between the Ohio National Guard and the Republic of Serbia have grown strong, a product of the Department of Defense’s State Partnership Program, which pairs states’ National Guards with nations around the world in mutually beneficial relationships. ~ READ STORY

2017


Serbian Armed Forces and the Ohio National Guard during the PAMBALA 2017 exercise Dec. 9, 2017, in Bengo, Angola.

Historic PAMBALA 2017 is underway:
Ohio works with State Partner Serbia, Angola during trilateral medical exercise

LUANDA, Angola (12/08/17) — Airmen and Soldiers of the Ohio National Guard and Serbian Armed Forces arrived here Dec. 8 for PAMBALA 2017, a two-phase trilateral medical engagement, and the welcome, not to mention the weather, couldn’t be warmer. ~ READ STORY


Historic PAMBALA 2017 draws to a close:
Ohio, Serbia work with Republic of Angola during trilateral medical engagement

BENGO PROVINCE, Angola (12/14/17) — During the PAMBALA 2017 exercise closing ceremony and VIP day, senior military leaders from Serbia and the United States exchanged flags with the host nation, the Republic of Angola, as a sign of the gratitude for the hospitality and friendships created with the Angolan Armed Forces over the two-week event. ~ . READ STORY


Planning underway for Combined Medical Engagement in Angola with Ohio, Serbia

COLUMBUS, Ohio (06/28/17) — Representatives of the Serbian and Angolan Armed Forces met with members of the Ohio National Guard in late June to discuss plans for an upcoming Combined Medical Engagement set to take place in Angola later this year. More than 20 planners from all three countries gathered for a week to work through the details for the upcoming event.. ~ READ STORY


Ohio National Guard works with Serbian partners during Cyber Tesla 2017 exercise

COLUMBUS, Ohio (09/14/17) — Members of the Ohio National Guard and Serbian Armed Forces joined together to carry out the second annual Cyber Tesla exercise Sept. 11-14 at two locations — in Ohio and Serbia. ~ READ STORY


Ohio works with SPP partners, other countries during PLATINUM WOLF 17

SOUTH BASE, Serbia (2017) — Soliders from multiple Ohio Army National Guard units boarded planes this summer to attend Platinum Wolf 2018, a two-week, multinational event focused on peacekeeping operations, hosted by one of Ohio’s State Partnership Program partner countries. ~ READ STORY

CLS training affords look at different countries medical
Two sets of guard siblings reconnect during unlikely overseas visit
Ohio Soldiers, Serbians learn non-lethal weapons tactics ~ READ STORY

2016


U.S.-Serbia Relations: Progress through Partnership

(08/16/16) — Vice President Joe Biden visited Belgrade, Serbia on Aug. 16 to celebrate and reaffirm the United States’ strong bilateral relationship with Serbia, its continued commitment to Serbia’s democratic and economic development, and their shared goal of European Union membership for Serbia ~ . READ STORY

Adjutant general makes official visit to Serbia, marks 10th anniversary Partnership

BELGRADE, Serbia (09/05/16) — Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman, Ohio adjutant general, made an official visit here in September to mark the 10th anniversary of the Ohio National Guard’s State Partnership Program pairing with the Serbian Armed Forces. Ohio’s partnership with the Republic of Serbia has included numerous military, socio-political and economic exchanges over the past decade, in the interests of promoting European regional stability and civil-military relationships. ~ READ STORY


Combined medical engagement partners ONG, Serbia,
Angola to help citizens in rural Serbia

COLUMBUS, Ohio (09/21/2016) — Ohio National Guard medical personnel worked with members of the Serbian Armed Forces in a Combined Medical Engagement Sept. 4-17 in various locations throughout southeast Serbia. ~ READ STORY


Serbian ambassador, military officials visit to celebrate 10th anniversary of State Partnership Program pairing with Ohio National Guard

COLUMBUS, Oh. (10/30/16) — Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman, Ohio adjutant general, hosted Lt. Gen. Jovica Draganić, Serbian Armed Forces deputy chief of general staff, and Djerdj Matkovic, Serbian Ambassador to the United States, for an official visit as part of the National Guard State Partnership Program. The Oct. 24-30 visit included events in Washington, D.C. and Columbus to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the SPP pairing of Ohio and the Republic of Serbia. READ STORY

2015


Life of Ohio National Guard bilateral affairs officer a unique experience

BELGRADE, Serbia (09/22/15) — The bilateral affairs officer (BAO) is a three-year temporary Active Guard/Reserve position, which serves as a full-time liaison between the Ohio National Guard and the Republic of Serbia. The BAO position is a broadening assignment, offering a learning opportunity to see how government works, how the military interacts with the media, and how a U.S. Embassy functions. ~ READ STORY


Ohio Soldiers observe Exercise Neighbors 2015

DEBRECEN, Hungary (09/24/15) — Soldiers from the Ohio National Guard visited Hungary to observe infantry units from the Serbian Land Forces and Hungarian military that participated in Exercise Neighbors 2015. ~ READ STORY

2014


Ohio National Guard takes part in Platinum Wolf 2014

BUJANOVAC, Serbia (07/01/14) — Five Soldiers from the Ohio National Guard traveled halfway across the world in late June to Serbia to participate in exercise Platinum Wolf 2014, a multinational peacekeeping operations exercise. ~ READ STORY


Strengthening the Ohio-Serbia partnership

BELGRADE, Serbia (07/23/14) — Maj. Gen. Deborah A. Ashenhurst, Ohio adjutant general, joined Gen. Frank J. Grass, chief, National Guard Bureau, and U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Michael Kirby for meetings July 23, 2014, in Belgrade, Serbia, to discuss the State Partnership Program relationship between the Ohio National Guard and Serbia. ~ READ STORY


Serbian pilots partner with 1st Battalion, 137th Aviation Regiment crew

(08/21/10) — Four pilots from the Serbian Armed Forces trained with the 1st Battalion, 137th Aviation Regiment during its annual training period and learned about the night vision capabilities of Ohio’s aviators. ~ READ STORY


2012


Serbians Observe the Homeland Response Force

Members of the Serbian Armed Forces visit Ohio to observe the National Guard’s Homeland Response Force in action.


Ohio National Guard leaders host Serbian defense minister

COLUMBUS, Ohio (12/12/12) — Maj. Gen. Deborah A. Ashenhurst, Ohio adjutant general, and other Ohio National Guard leaders recently hosted a delegation from the Serbian Ministry of Defense, including Aleksandar Vučić, first deputy prime minister of Serbia. ~ READ STORY


ONG engineers work with Serbian Armed Forces on school reconstruction project

KRALJEVO, Serbia (08/16/2012) — More than 30 Ohio National Guard members worked alongside their counterparts in the Serbian 2nd Army Brigade to repair the Svetozar Markovic Primary School in Kraljevo, Serbia, which was damaged by an earthquake in late 2010. ~ READ STORY


School gym ribbon-cutting, air show highlight adjutant general’s visit to Serbia

Serbia (09/25/12) — Maj. Gen. Deborah A. Ashenhurst, Ohio adjutant general, and a delegation from Ohio visited Serbia in September 2012. The visit included participation in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a school gym renovation project that more than 30 Ohio National Guard engineers helped complete while working alongside their Serbian counterparts, as well as participation in the “Batajnica 2012” Air Show, highlighting 100 years of Serbian military aviation. ~ READ STORY

2011


Ohio adjutant general visits Serbia

Serbia (09/12/11) — Maj. Gen. Deborah A. Ashenhurst, Ohio adjutant general, and a delegation from Ohio visit Serbia in September 2011 as part of the ongoing National Guard State Partnership Program, promoting and coordinating activities between Serbia and Ohio. ~ READ STORY