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News | Nov. 16, 2021

High Achievers

By Tech. Sgt. Charles Johnston

A delegation of 13 law enforcement officers from the General Directorate of Narcotics Control, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia visited the state military reservation in Concord on Nov. 3.

The familiarization tour of New Hampshire National Guard counterdrug and civil-support operations culminated a year-long training program for the Saudi Arabians led by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

"These are the top students of each class that we conducted over the year,” said Special Agent Brian Villella, program manager. “So they get to come back to the United States to see how federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement are integrated and how we work with our partners and how we work with the National Guard."

The students received various briefings through an interpreter, toured the reservation and adjacent aviation facility. They also took turns sitting behind the controls of a static, UH-60 Black Hawk used for aerial drug reconnaissance missions.

The GDNC has the same mission as DEA, Villella said.

"Coordinating with allies in the fight against drugs can have impacts far beyond our state operations here in New Hampshire," said Maj. Aaron McCarthy, NHNG Counterdrug Program coordinator. "This DEA event fits perfectly into the National Guard’s mission triad areas of securing the homeland and building enduring partnerships, and we’re happy to support their efforts."

More tours are expected in the future, highlighting continued interorganizational cooperation.