Moldovan Parliament Members Meet with North Carolina National Guard Leaders
RALEIGH, N.C. – Only weeks after their country elected a president following three years of political deadlock, six parliamentarians from the Eastern European nation of Moldova visited the North Carolina National Guard (NCNG) Joint Force Headquarters here May 14, 2012, to learn how the military supports a liberal democracy.
“We came here to learn how North Carolina helps others and how to apply it at home,” said Deputy Speaker of the Moldovan Parliament, Liliana Palihovici.
The Tarheel Guard has been paired with the former Soviet republic since 1995 as part of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program. Begun in 1992, the National Guard spearheads the program, which is a cooperative effort of the Departments of Defense and State. After the fall of the Soviet Union, America needed a way to engage the emerging democracies of the former Soviet bloc. SPP provided that mechanism, and the grassroots nature of the Guard provided the raw material for building both military and civilian relationships.
The six parliamentarians came to North Carolina as part of a trip sponsored by the Open World Leadership Center, which runs the Open World program, an exchange initiative for young leaders of post-Soviet nations designed to promote democratic ideals.
“The National Guard is unique,” said retired Brig. Gen. Iwan Clontz, NCNG deputy director, who greeted the delegation. “It brings the military and civilian sides together.”

“We wanted to discuss with experts how to apply what North Carolina does at home,” said Palihovici.
“We spoke at length about our civil support including modular airborne fire fighting and helping first responders identify threats,” said Clontz.
Open World introduces decision makers from Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union to American political and civic life, and to their American counterparts. Open World delegates range from first-time mayors to veteran journalists, from nonprofit directors to small-business advocates, and from political activists to judges at all levels.
The delegation learned about NCNG’s structure and its dual mission of supporting both the state of North Carolina in times of natural and manmade disaster or civil unrest as well as its federal mission to answer the president’s call in times of national emergency. In particular, Guard briefers emphasized the military’s subordination to civilian authority. The lawmakers, who serve a constitutionally-neutral country, were especially interested in civil-support missions the Guard performed that had could potentially be replicated in Moldova.
The delegation will spend three days in North Carolina and a total of ten in the United States before heading home.
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