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NEWS | May 13, 2024

Hubbard conducts key leader engagements in Tajikistan

By Mike Vrabel | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

Brig. Gen. Todd H. Hubbard, the Virginia National Guard Director of the Joint Staff, conducted key leader engagements with senior leaders from the Republic of Tajikistan April 29 - May 3, 2024, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. 

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

During his visit, the director met with Brig. Gen. Ismon Shokirzoda, commander of the Mobile Forces. Together, they discussed the success of the the VNG’s partnership with Tajikistan, highlighting recent exchanges conducted between them in Tajikistan and Virginia, including infantry tactics, mountain warfare and communications exchanges. 

“We are proud of our long standing partnership with Tajikistan,” said Hubbard. “For over 20 years, we have worked together to protect our respective countries.”

Hubbard also met with Lt. Gen. Rajabali Rahmonali, commander of the Tajikistan Border Guard Services. It wasn’t the first time the senior leaders had met to exchange ideas, as Rahmonali visited the VNG’s Sgt. Bob Slaughter Headquarters at Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, in 2023. 

“I enjoy the friendships I have made with our Tajik partners,” said Hubbard. “They are proud of their independent country and want to improve security for their citizens.” 

In addition to his meeting with the Mobile forces, the Director met with the Commander of the Border guard services Lieutenant General Rajabali Rahmonali. The director and General Rahmonali are very familiar with each other as General Rahmonali visited the Virginia National Guard headquarters in 2023 were both Senior leaders got to spend four days together laying down the foundation for training events between the Border Guards and the Virginia National Guard. 

According to Maj. Isaac Rivera, the VNG’s SPP director, Rahmonali also expressed his gratitude for the partnership. 

“Rahmonali expressed his gratitude for the assistance of the U.S. government and the Virginia National Guard in training of the Border Guards on soldier tasks such as communications, logistics and military decision-making process,” said Rivera. 

Hubbard said he looks forward to future exchanges between the partner nations, and talked about the benefits to the VNG’s personnel who conduct them. 

“Our Soldiers and Airmen enjoy the opportunity to work with our partners in Tajikistan,” said Hubbard. “Traveling to another country and working in new environments challenges our service members.”

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


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