July 24, 2000

University, Alaska Army National Guard Form Partnership for Academic, Training and Support Programs

July 24, 2000  NR 18-2000

Anchorage, July 24, 2000 - The University of Alaska and the Alaska Army National Guard today announced a partnership to start developing academic, training and support programs for Guard members.

University President Mark R. Hamilton and Major General Phil Oates, Adjutant General for Alaska, announced the partnership today in Anchorage where they signed a memorandum of understanding.

"The challenges in the areas of education, training, telecommunications, and logistics are similar for the university and the Alaska Army National Guard and require focused attention," Hamilton and Oates said in a prepared statement. "Our desire is to jointly overcome common challenges in areas of mutual interest whereby our combined efforts and resources will allow us to meet our mission and goals."

The first program developed under the terms of the agreement is likely to be designed to provide educational services to Guard members residing in the Yukon Kuskokwim region, Hamilton said. The goal of the pilot project will be completion of university certificates and degrees by participating Guard members over a three-year period.

"This University of Alaska pilot project to provide educational services to Guard members from remote regions of rural Alaska is a tremendous partnership with the potential to improve individual lives and entire communities," said Governor Tony Knowles, who was represented at the signing by Mike Abbott of the Anchorage governor's office.

"Guardsmen and women are well-trained militarily because it is vital to our national interest," the Governor continued. "The interests of our communities are well served when these citizen soldiers return home with a solid education and the skills to become leaders in their own villages. I am delighted that the Guard and the University of Alaska are signing agreements to team up their distance learning resources and make their unique partnership official."

Mike Sfraga, Director of Program Development, University of Alaska, 907-474-1997.
Kerre Martineau, Alaska Army National Guard 907-428-6034.