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In this Thursday, April 3, 2014 photo provided by the North Dakota National Guard, Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, left, commander of the North Dakota state Guard, shakes hands with Rear Admiral Denis H. Gbessemehlan, Chief of the Defense Staff, Beninese Armed Forces as the Honorable Michael Raynor, U.S. Ambassador to Benin, looks on in Cotonou, Benin. The exchange followed a ceremony formalizing a partnership with the African nation through the Defense Department-sponsored State Partnership Program. The North Dakota Guard is the first state Guard to be partnered with three African nations. (AP Photo/Courtesy of the North Dakota National Guard, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Kiel Skager)