APS Swift Army veterinary team in Liberia
MONROVIA, Liberia - U.S. Army veterinarian Captain Kellie J. Stewart from VETCOM Headquarters in Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio (right) and Army Staff Sergeant Teresa A. Sipes from South Plains District Veterinary Command, Fort Hood, Texas, prepare a dog for minor surgery during Africa Partnership Station (APS) Swift's port call in Monrovia, Liberia. The treatment is part of the ship's two-week Medical Civil Action Project, which began September 2, 2009. APS is an international initiative under Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa which aims to work cooperatively with U.S., European and African partners to enhance maritime safety and security on the African continent.

MONROVIA, Liberia, Sep 16, 2009 - A three-person Army veterinary team on board Africa Partnership Station (APS) Swift, (HSV 2), is participating in the ship's two-week Medical Civil Action Project (MEDCAP) in Monrovia, which began September 2, 2009.

The Soldiers are providing care to animals including house pets and livestock, and helping the Ministry of Agriculture start up a fledgling livestock breeding program to aid the country. The war, now over for six years, wiped out all of Liberia's cattle and goats.

"If it had four legs, it was eaten," said Army Staff Sergeant Teresa A. Sipes, an animal care specialist from the U.S. Army South Plains District Veterinary Command. "Even now, the country is in the early stages of trying to redevelop their livestock -- cows, goats, and sheep -- a renewable source of food for Liberia. CARI has made a good start on the project."

CARI is the Republic of Liberia's Central Agricultural Research Institute, part of the Ministry of Agriculture, whose mission is to repopulate the Liberian domestic herds and develop high-yield, disease resistant food plants which will thrive in the sub-tropical climate.

The veterinary team also made an overnight visit to Bong County, deep in the interior of the country, to see the progress on the livestock project and train the animal caretakers at CARI.

"They are serious about the care of these animals and repopulating their stock," said Army Captain Kellie J. Stewart from the Veterinary Command Headquarters in Fort Sam Houston, Texas. "They have a good handle on what they need to do to care for them, so the training was on various treatments; hoof-rot, mastitis, a de-worming regimen, and on nutrition, antibiotics, vitamins and basic husbandry. Their biggest problem is simply getting the medications they need. This portion of APS Swift's mission here in Liberia should really help their project."

APS is a multinational initiative under Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa which aims to foster cooperation between U.S., European and African partners to enhance maritime safety and security on the African continent.

Swift, homeported in Norfolk, Virginia, is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. The ship has supported various partnership-building operations and training throughout much of the world.

Page last updated Tue September 22nd, 2009 at 08:58