167th Airlift Wing participates in exercise Agile Hunter 2016

National Guard Soldiers assigned to North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia prepare to board a West Virginia Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster III inbound for Moldova at Pope Airfield, N.C., March 5, 2016. The Soldiers will be participating in an overseas deployment training exercise with a Moldovan reconnaissance company, which will prepare them to conduct support missions during a rotation at the National Training Center. (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Brendan Stephens, 382nd Public Affairs Detachment/Released)

National Guard Soldiers assigned to North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia prepare to board a West Virginia Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster III inbound for Moldova at Pope Airfield, N.C., March 5, 2016. The Soldiers will be participating in an overseas deployment training exercise with a Moldovan reconnaissance company, which will prepare them to conduct support missions during a rotation at the National Training Center. (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Brendan Stephens, 382nd Public Affairs Detachment/Released)

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Four 167th Airlift Wing C-17 Globemaster III crews supported exercise Agile Hunter 2016 with the North Carolina Army National Guard and the country of Moldova, March 3-7.
The country of Moldova, a small eastern European country between Romania and Ukraine, is in the State Partnership Program with the North Carolina National Guard. 
"The [167th AW] crew facilitated the joint partnership between the North Carolina National Guard and their partner country of Moldova," said Capt. Tim Siemer, a 167th AW pilot during the exercise.
According to nationalguard.mil, the State Partnership Program has been building relationships for over 20 years that includes 70 different security partnerships involving 76 nations around the globe.
Capt. Sam Harrison, an aircraft commander during the exercise and current operations officer at the 167th AW, said it was a high visibility mission because the director of the National Guard, General Grass, was testifying to the House Armed Services Committee about the state partnership program while the exercise was taking place.
According to nationalguard.mil, "Through SPP [State Partnership Program], the National Guard conducts military-to-military engagements in support of defense security goals but also leverages whole-of-society relationships and capabilities to facilitate broader interagency and corollary engagements spanning military, government, economic and social spheres."
Master Sgt. Nate Smith, a loadmaster during the exercise and aircrew training NCO at the 167th AW, said the cargo included humvees, light medium tactical vehicles, pallets and gear of the guardsmen. A total of about 25 North Carolina guardsmen and 30 Moldavians were also transported.
About five pallets of school supplies were taken to Moldova, said Smith.
North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia National Guard participated in exercise Agile Hunter 2016.
The West Virginia National Guard has a state partnership with Peru and will be participating in an exercise with them this year.