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​The National Guard Bureau selected Kentucky to officially partner with the Republic of Djibouti under the guard's State Partnership Program, officials announced. The state's Army and Air National Guard units already engage in capacity building and military-to-military engagements with the Ecuadoran military since becoming SPP partners in 1996, according to the release. Airmen and C-130s of the Kentucky ANG's 123rd Airlift Wing deployed to the US Africa Command theater of operations in support of Ebola response operations last year, and Kentucky Guard soldiers returned from a Djibouti deployment in 2013. "During our deployment to Djibouti, our Kentucky Guardsmen were fantastic ambassadors to our global neighbors," state Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Edward Tonini said in the release. "We're honored to be selected for this SPP mission. We look forward to future operations with the Republic of Djibouti," he added. The SPP boasts 69 state partnerships with some 75 foreign militaries, according to the release.   (See also The Guard Partnerships from the October 2014 issue of Air Force Magazine.)