An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NEWS | May 20, 2024

276th Engineers conduct mountain warfare exchange with Tajik partners 

By Mike Vrabel | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Petersburg-based 276th Engineer Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group conducted a mountain warfare exchange with Tajik military forces Apr. 29 - May 3, 2024, in Romit, Tajikistan. 

The exchange was conducted in support of the Department of Defense’s State Partnership Program, in which Virginia and Tajikistan have been partners since 2003. 

Tajikistan agencies participating in the exchange included the Ministry of Defense’s Peace Keeping Battalion and members of the Tajik National Guard. 

During the training, three engineers assigned to the 276th shared lessons learned and best practices pertaining to various mountain warfare operations, including knot-tying techniques, rappelling standards and techniques and rope bridge implementation. 

The exchange culminated with a timed test evaluating knowledge of different knots and rappelling down a 100-meter cliff face and tying another knot before ascending back up the cliff face. 

“The Virginia Army National Guard team included Sgt. 1st Class Frank Barmes, Sgt. 1st Class Richard Test and Sgt. Chris McClelland,” said Master Sgt. Daniel Timberlake, the VNG J3 joint operations noncommissioned officer in charge. “Together the three engineers brought decades-worth of military and civilian experience and insight into the exchange.”

The mountain warfare exchange was the third such exchange conducted in the last three years. 

In July 2023, the VNG and Tajikistan celebrated the 20th anniversary of their formal partnership in the State Partnership Program, which itself just celebrated its 30-year anniversary. The relationship has benefitted all parties, from sharing subject matter expertise throughout 200 military-to-military engagements that help counter terrorism, deter violent extremism, expand emergency response capabilities, develop professionalism among leaders and staffs and promote shared values in national sovereignty and security.

Read more about the VNG’s partnership with Tajikistan at

The VNG also formalized its partnership with Finland in 2024. Read more at

News Archive by Category

All Entries