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SD National Guard members visit Suriname to talk with officials about disaster relief efforts


RAPID CITY, South Dakota — South Dakota National Guard members recently traveled to the South American country of Suriname (SUR'-ih-nahm) to share with officials ways in which military personnel can help during disaster relief efforts.

Three guardsmen met with members of Suriname's defense forces, disaster relief coordinators and other officials during their trip that began Aug. 19.

A Defense Department-sponsored partnership was established between South Dakota and Suriname in 2006 and numerous exchanges have since taken place to develop military, political, social and economic ties.

U.S. Army Maj. Kenn Kerfont traveled to Suriname. He says the guardsmen showed officials how military personnel can provide logistics, maintenance, security and medical support during a disaster.

The South Dakota National Guard says the delegation frequently referenced the involvement of guardsmen in the response to the Missouri River flooding.

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