MONROVIA, Liberia -- The Republic of Liberia, a small country on the north western coast of Africa, held a ribbon cutting ceremony July 12 in the country's capital, Monrovia, marking the turnover of vehicles and assorted equipment received through a foreign military sales purchase.
The ceremony was attended by Liberian president and commander in chief of the armed forces Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who thanked the United States "for its continued support to the armed forces of Liberia, the government and people of Liberia."
Twenty Toyota Land Cruiser pickups and maintenance vehicles, plus manuals and three years of spare parts, were included in the $1 million FMS case.
In addition to the pickup trucks, two Boston Whaler boats were also delivered to support military operations. All of the newly acquired materiel will be used for routine security operations, assist in road construction across the country and for peacekeeping missions in the nearby country of Mali. The U.S. will also donate a 10,000 liter water truck, a 50,000 liter per day water purification unit and a mobile kitchen trailer to support missions in Mali.
U.S. Ambassador Christine Elder presented the keys to the vehicles and equipment during the ceremony, officially marking the transfer of ownership to Liberia.
"The United States of America has a long and continuing relationship with the armed forces of Liberia," Elder said.
"We were heavily involved with demobilizing the old AFL," she said. "And actively participated in the training of about 2,000 men and women from across the country, and assisting in providing mentorship and training to the new AFL."
Soldiers from the U.S. Army Security Assistance Training Management Organization, a subordinate organization of USASAC based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, are also serving as advisers to their military.
"All of this geared toward the training, modernization and professionalization of the Liberian military," Bill Kaundart, a country program manager in the AFRICOM regional operations directorate at the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command, said.
"This is small money in FMS, but it is huge for Liberia to receive this support," he said.
USASAC's current foreign military sales cases on offer have a total program value of $12 billion to date and fiscal 2016 is projected to reach $14 billion. But regardless of the dollar amount, each FMS case across the globe can have a positive impact to that country's regional stability and the Army's global missions.