Polish Army officers are in Springfield learning from Illinois soldiers and airmen. It's all a part of a partnership developed more than 20 years ago.
The Polish military leaders have been in Illinois all week, stopping first in Chicago before making their way to Springfield.
Their goal is to learn from the Illinois National Guard.
"You can't just show up on the first day of a crisis and meet someone for the first time," said Major Douglas Coop of the Illinois National Guard.
That's why the group of Polish Army officers are in Springfield as part of the state partnership program between Poland and Illinois.
"This builds stronger ties militarily. It builds stronger ties culturally. It builds stronger ties economically. So the state partnership program was once again designed to promote democracy and promote long-term stability, and I know we've achieved that with Poland," said Major General Richard Hayes, Jr., adjutant general of the Illinois National Guard.
The Polish military leaders started their trip in Chicago with a seminar about providing protection for high visibility events.
In 2012, Chicago hosted the NATO summit.
And this year, that summit will take place in Poland.
"Sharing things that we learned when we did that event, so they can put some of those lessons learned when they go to plan for and do their event," said Major Coop.
The next stop for the group was Camp Lincoln where the officers observed a training exercise of the Illinois National Guard's pandemic response plan.
Complete story at Fox Illinois