U.S. Army Africa NCOs in Liberia mentor under State Department program
December 22, 2009
<b>U.S. Army Africa NCOs in Liberia mentor under State Department program</b>
<b>What is it' </b>
U.S. Army Africa (USARAF) NCOs continue to support Liberia Security Sector Reform (LSSR), an ongoing U.S. Department of State-led initiative coordinated through U.S. Africa Command. The program is overseen by U.S. Army officers assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia. Senior enlisted Soldiers from USARAF are assigned to four-month temporary duty tours at Camp Sandi Ware in Careysburg, Liberia. There, and at Edward Binyah Kesselly Barracks, Army NCOs work with counterparts from the U.S. Marine Forces Africa and civilian contractors to mentor Soldiers from the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).
<b>What has U.S. Army Africa done' </b>
In early 2009, USARAF began supporting the LSSR initiative by sending senior NCOs with expertise in logistics and infantry operations. Then, USARAF military police NCOs joined the team. Recently, Sgt. 1st Class Dedraf Blash, a U.S. Army Africa medical NCO, mentored female AFL soldiers and helped build capacity within the enlisted AFL medical corps. She helped implement critical administrative medical systems and helped build weekly professional development classes that AFL medics continue regularly.
<b>What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future' </b>
U.S. Army Africa is the Army service component command for U.S. Africa Command. As USARAF grows, the command continues to partner with African nations in their efforts to build effective armies. As in other parts of the continent, U.S. Army Africa will support the Liberian military's efforts to grow into a force that can support security, stability and peace within its border and support the same throughout the West African region. Meanwhile, USARAF NCOs continue to take part in both mentoring events and sustained partnership efforts in Rwanda, Algeria, Nigeria and the Horn of Africa. Other upcoming partnerships also involve Botswana and Malawi.
<b>Why is this important to the Army' </b>
The initial success of USARAF's support to Liberia is one of several examples of the command's role in partnering on the continent - engaging in sustained ways to create effective African forces that support elected officials and foster peaceful environments. By building security capacity and promoting strategic partnerships with the Liberia military, the U.S. Army maintains a valuable ally in West Africa to support stability and defeat extremism in the region, a priority for U.S. foreign policy.
For more information visit - <a href="http://www.usaraf.army.mil"target="_blank">U.S. Army Africa Web site</a>