Top Foreign Military Officials Head For Monrovia

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Set To Receive AFL DSO Awards

Two Ghanaian military officials, Brigadier General Kwedu Hagan and Lieutenant Colonel George Nuetey-Ablade Dottey, along with several other senior foreign military officials, are expected to arrive in Monrovia to receive Distinguished Service Orders (DSOs) from the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Sam Kingsford Collins, Assistant Minister for Public Affairs of the Ministry of National Defense told a recent news conference in Monrovia.

   According to Assistant Minister Collins, the DSOs will be awarded at a program marking the official observance of Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) Day on February 11, 2022, at the Barclay Training Center, UN Drive.    

   He indicated that on Thursday, February 11, 2022, the official Armed Forces Day celebration will kick off at 6:00 a.m.

   During the ceremonies, the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) Awards will be given to Brigadier General Kwedu Hagan and Lieutenant Colonel George Nuetey-Ablade Dottey.

   He added that  Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Abubakar Swaray (S1890-RSLAF) from Sierra Leone and Colonel Chris Wyatt (Rtd), Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Moulton, and Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Alden  from the United States of America as well as  Captain Dorothy Gray (Rtd) of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), and Finda F. Nyumah, an Eminent Liberian, will also be given DSOs.

   According to him, Lieutenant General Leonids Kalnins, Chief of Defense Staff, Latvia Armed Forces; Major General Paul Roger of Michigan National Guard and Lt/Col Rob Browne, Defense Attaché, UK Military, will serve as special guests for this year’s Armed Forces Day celebrations.

   Speaking further, Assistance Minister Collins said that the Armed Forces Day historically came into existence by legislation on February 11, 1957, with the sole intent of paying homage to the men and women of the Armed Forces of Liberia who are making tireless sacrifices to maintain the security of Liberia, and those who have sacrificed their lives in line of their duties for their country and people.

   The Armed Forces Day celebration has always been used as an opportunity for the public, foreign guests and dignitaries to be acquainted with the activities regarding development and progress within the Armed Forces of Liberia, Collins further disclosed.

   He noted that this year’s Armed Forces Day will be celebrated under the theme, “Inter-Agency Cooperation as a Panacea for Contemporary Security Challenges”.

   He added that Ambassador Tunde Ajisomo, former Ambassador of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to Liberia, will serve as the Guest Speaker of the auspicious event.

   In a related development, the Ministry of National Defense (MOD) and the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), in partnership with Lone Star Cell MTN, held massive cleaning up campaign activities in the Borough of New Kru Town on Saturday, February 5, 2022, to give the densely populated community a facelift.

    Prior to the cleanup campaign, many parts of the densely populated community were awash with dirt and other waste materials, thus posing health hazard to residents.

   The clean-up took place in the area beginning at 6:40 a.m. with personnel of the Ministry of Defense, the Armed Forces of Liberia and Lone Star Cell MTN, and inhabitants of the community being  heavily involved.

   Speaking with reporters after the exercise, Colonel Theophilus Anto Dana, 23rd Infantry Brigade Commander of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and Mr. Prince K.Vicent, Deputy Defense Minister for Operations said, the clean-up campaign was aimed at maintaining a clean environment.  

   Colonel Dana indicated that one of the foremost priorities of the AFL is to work with the citizens to ensure the creation of good and clean environment.

   He stressed that for the past years, the AFL has carried out similar exercises in other communities across the country.

    For his party, Mr. Prince K.Vicent, Deputy Defense Minister for Operations said as the cleaning up campaign was going on in Borough of New Kru Town,the AFL Medical Outreach was taking place   at WalaKou Community in Mount Barclay where Personnel of the Ministry of Defense, the Armed Forces of Liberia and Lone Star Cell MTN were heavily involved.

   According to him, climaxing the Cleanup Campaign and Medical Outreach, will be sporting activities to be held at the BTC.

   The Sport Day will bring together teams from MOD/ AFL, UBA, LPRC, NPA, Beer Factory and Lone Star Cell MTN.

   The Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), was formed by the first black colonists in what is now Liberia.

   It was founded as the Liberian Frontier Force in 1908, and retitled in 1956.

    For almost all of its history, the AFL has received considerable logistics and training assistance from the United States of America (USA).

   For most of the 1941–89 period, training was largely provided by U.S. advisers.

   During the Cold War, the AFL saw little action, apart from a reinforced company group which was sent to ONUC in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the 1960s. This changed with the advent of
the First Liberian Civil War in 1989.

    The AFL became entangled in the conflict, which lasted from 1989 to 1996–97, and then the Second
Liberian Civil War, which lasted from 1999 to 2003.
   As of 2014, the AFL consists of two infantry battalions, a Service Support Company, a Military Police Company, a Logistics Command, and the Liberian National Coast Guard.

    For several years after the war, a Nigerian Army officer served as Head of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).

   After George Weah was elected as President of Liberia, Prince C. Johnson III became Chief of Staff, promoted to Major General, and Geraldine George, Deputy Chief of Staff, promoted to Brigadier General.

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