Maine and Montenegro are thousands of miles apart yet the same military goals are sought in both areas. Since 2006, the Maine National Guard has had a working relationship with the military of Montenegro. It’s through a the State Partnership Program (SPP) that helps new democracies build military ties with the U-S. When the people of Montenegro voted to declare their independence from Serbia in 2006 the Montenegro/Maine partnership was pursued. In 2007, Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic visited Maine with Governor John Baldacci and National Guard Adjutant General Bill Libby to discuss the goals of both states. A primary goal has been to advise the Montegrin military as it transitions from a conscripted to an all-volunteer force.This week, five Montenegrin journalists are visiting Camp Keyes in Augusta to familiarize themselves with U-S media and military operations. The journalists, who are from various television and newspaper outlets visited Washington, D.C. prior to their visit to Maine. On Monday, the Montenegrins visited with National Guard personnel to learn more about the Guard. Nina Radulovic is a broadcaster for a public service T.V. station in Montenegro, “This will be an experience. There are things that we’ll learn here because from the beginning we are learning about the structure of the military here and the way it operates. Not only military but the programs that support military families,” she says.Maj. Gen. Bill Libby, adjutant general of the Maine National Guard told TV5 Monday, “They are living through the formation of a new democracy and determining in large part what direction that country goes. That’s got to be exciting and provide a real challenge and opportunity for them. Something none of us could never fully appreciate.”The group will be leaving Friday. For more information on Montenegro click here.