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Assistant Defense boss outlines achievements

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The Assistant Minister of Defense for Public Affairs, Sam K. Collins says connection of the
Barclay Training Center (BTC) compound and the Liberia Coast Guard Base to the national electricity grid are among achievements of the Ministry in 2018.
He says the BTC and the Liberian Coast Guard Base had in the past been electrified through the use of Heavy Duty generators, thus posing serious financial burden on the Ministry of National Defense.

According to him, the connection has at least relaxed burden of running both compounds on generators, saying, “We are grateful to the Management of Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC).

He notes the renegotiation of insurance policy that covers personnel of the Armed Forces of Liberia and civilian staff of the Ministry of National Defense, noting this was one of the major challenges
administration faced during past years, as personnel of the AFL and their dependents were usually turned back by hospitals on grounds that the insurance companies were not living up to agreement with the
hospitals.

Collins explains, under the current leadership, the situation has improved greatly with officers and their relatives being given the best of treatment as mentioned within the policy.

He names commencement of the construction of the 14 Military Teaching Hospital, which is currently ongoing in Duazohn Community along the Robertsfield highway, adding that works on the
main building has reached 75 percent, while exterior walls of the laundry and cafeteria are being erected.

The project is one of the flagship programs of Commander-In-Chief, President George Manneh Weah’s besides a coastal road network in Southeast Liberia.

“We can assure the public that the hospital will be completed at an appreciable level by end of October 2019. The construction of the hospital is being done by the AFL Engineering Battalion”, Minister Collins discloses.

He also reveals detachment of the AFL budget from the Ministry of National Defense, which he notes, has been a long-time dream of the military to control its own budget.

“We believe that the military should remain mission focus as they execute their duty.”

Collins emphasizes that the Minister of National Defense, Maj/Gen. Daniel Dee Ziankahn Jr., believes all these gains would not have been possible without commitment and supports of Commander-In-Chief Weah, members of the National Legislature, who in their wisdom, carried out the necessary budgetary appropriations, the High Command of the AFL, international partners and his dedicated staff.

The Ministry of National Defense is the Government entity statutorily responsible to ensure the provision of national security within the territorial confines of the Republic of Liberia, charged with the full management of the Armed Forces of Liberia, which is directly responsible for the protection of the national sovereignty, including land, air and maritime territory, against external aggressions, insurgency, terrorism and encroachment. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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