A Latvian National Guard soldier prepares a MK19 grenade launcher at a site in Adazi, Latvia on April 14, 2009 as Michigan Army National Guardsman Sgt. Robert Gustafson looks on. The Soldiers are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan as an operational and mentoring liaison team with the Afghanistan National Army. This is the second deployment for the joint Michigan-Latvian OMLT. Michigan and Latvia are paired in the Department of State and the Department of Defense State Partnership Program which is administered by the National Guard Bureau and executed by the state adjutants general. The program is a key U.S. security cooperation tool, facilitating cooperation across all aspects of international civil-military affairs and encourages people-to-people ties at the state level.
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