By Maj. Dillon, SETAFApril 16, 2009
U.S. Army Africa: Liberia Security Sector Reform
What is it'
Soldiers assigned to U.S. Army Africa and Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa are leading the U.S. military's effort to build security capacity in Liberia. Liberia struggled through two civil wars in recent years and is now making efforts to build a professional military that supports peace and stability.
The unique program, known as Liberia Security Sector Reform, is a U.S. State Department-led initiative to help rebuild the Armed Forces of Liberia. U.S. Army Africa began supporting the effort in recent months. The joint program, which is coordinated through the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, includes more than a dozen U.S. Army NCOs, a team of U.S. Marines and civilian mentors.
What has U.S. Army Africa done'
Two senior noncommissioned officers from U.S. Army Africa recently deployed from their unit headquarters in Vicenza, Italy. They will spend five months in a mentorship role alongside Liberian forces at two camps near the capital, Monrovia: Camp Sandi Ware and Edward Binyah Kesselly Military Barracks. One NCO is an expert in tactical military operations. The other has nearly two decades experience in logistics. Together they are engaging Liberian troops in ways that have already led to positive change. Meanwhile, a contingent of NCOs from the 2nd Battalion, 18th Field Artillery Regiment - detached across the continent from CJTF-HOA, in Djibouti - are supporting the mentorship program. Together, with other U.S. military members from U.S. Africa Command and contracted civilian mentors, Army Soldiers are building a partnership for future engagements of this kind.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future'
Senior U.S. Army Africa leaders are reviewing the initial success from the current mission to determine how best to support future partnership assignments with Liberian forces. Meanwhile, U.S. Army Africa staff continues to coordinate with U.S. Africa Command and the U.S. State Department for upcoming partnership opportunities in Liberia and other African nations.
Why is this important to the Army'
The initial success of this military cooperation in Liberia is indicative of the Army's role in partnering with African nations - building capacity for African forces to enable legitimate authorities to create more peaceful and stable environments. By building security capacity and promoting strategic partnerships with the Liberian military, the U.S. Army regains a valuable ally in West Africa to support stability and defeat extremism in the region, a priority for U.S. foreign policy.
U.S. Army Africa Web site
U.S. Africa Command Web site