BUCHAREST, ROMANIA – Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, this week met with Illinois Army National Guard members currently working in Romania to help advise and assist members of the Romanian military. As one of our NATO allies bordering Ukraine, maintaining and strengthening Romania’s national security is critical to helping protect the region and strengthen our allies as Vladimir Putin continues his unjustified and unprovoked war of choice against Ukraine. A photo from this meeting is available here.

“I was glad to meet with members of the Illinois Army National Guard and other American servicemembers doing the important work of supporting and advising Romania’s armed forces,” Duckworth said. “Strengthening the defensive capabilities of our NATO allies is critical in helping effectively deter Putin from continuing his unjustified aggression beyond Ukraine. The work of the Illinois National Guard is vital to our strength and safety both at home and abroad, and I’m proud to recognize their work here today.”

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The work of the Illinois National Guard to train and mentor foreign troops is a critical effort in helping allies and partners develop stronger, more capable militaries. Since 1993, Illinois National Guard has facilitated a State Partnership Program with the Polish Armed Forces, one of 25 European partnerships that make up the U.S. European Command State Partnership Program. This successful partnership helped Poland emerge from the Warsaw Pact to become a member of NATO and one of the United States’ staunchest allies. In addition, Illinois Army National Guard troops have co-deployed with Poland on every Polish rotation to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003.

Illinois National Guard troops have also helped train Ukrainian Soldiers, with 165 guard members from the Illinois Army National Guard’s 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team in 2021 advising and mentoring the Ukrainian cadre at Combat Training Center-Yavoriv in Ukraine to improve Ukraine’s training capacity and defense capabilities.

Duckworth is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. She is an Iraq War Veteran who served in the Reserved Forces for 23 years before retiring from military service in 2014 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

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