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Today's Focus:

U.S. Army Africa NCOs in Liberia mentor under State Department program

SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

"This holiday season is a time when Americans- along with our friends and allies around the world- reflect on and give thanks for the freedoms and prosperity we all enjoy. You- the Soldiers and civilians of the United States Army– have won and secured this freedom and prosperity through your hard work, dedication and sacrifice…and with the unwavering support of your families and our nation’s veterans."

View the complete 2009 Senior Army Leader Holiday message

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Year of the Noncommissioned Officer

"Army NCOs will continue to serve as mentors, teammates and coaches to all Soldiers, at all levels within the Army. It is my hope that this year's focus on the NCO will lead the way to a highly educated, superiorly fit, and well-prepared environment in the Army, resulting in the defeat of the enemy and the protection of our Warfighters. Our NCOs set the conditions for success. Army Strong!"

- Command Sgt. Maj. Hector G. Marin, senior noncommissioned officer, Research, Development and Engineering Command and Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

Looking back on the Year of the NCO

A CULTURE OF ENGAGEMENT

CALENDAR

2009 Commemorations :

Year of the NCO

Year of the Military Family

100th Anniversary of the Chaplain Assistant

December 2009

Dec. 16 to Jan. 25 : 65th Anniversary of Battle of the Bulge

Dec. 24: STAND-TO! edition will not be published
Dec. 25: Christmas Holiday
Dec. 31: STAND-TO! edition will not be published

PROFESSIONAL WRITING

Army Professional Writing

TODAY'S FOCUS

U.S. Army Africa NCOs in Liberia mentor under State Department program

What is it?

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).

What has U.S. Army Africa done?

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.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

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.

Why is this important to the Army?

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.

Resources:

For more information visit - U.S. Army Africa Web site

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