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U.S. Army grades AFL high

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A visiting U.S. Army General, Maj. Gen. Leonard Isabelle says the professionalism and effectiveness of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) are very high, saying he sees improvement in the military here anytime he visits Liberia.

“So, again mine assessment is that, uh, the professionalism is very high, the effectiveness is very high,” Maj. Gen. Isabelle said Tuesday, 12 February at the Ministry of Defense in Monrovia.

The Michigan National Guard Assistant Adjutant General, accompanied by a delegation of U.S. Army personnel held talks with Defense Minister Daniel Ziankahn and army officials during a brief visit to Monrovia.

During a joint briefing with Minister Ziankahn, Maj. Gen. Isabelle says the AFL has really risen from the challenges of the civil war to become a force for good not only in Liberia, but throughout the continent [of Africa].

“They’ve done a great job executing the peacekeeping mission in Mali and are truly contributing to the security of all of Africa, so I congratulate them,” the US Army official notes.

He remarks that the fact that the AFL is accepted to form part of the UN peacekeeping mission, its deployment to a mission of that importance as soldiers demonstrates that they are a professional and received the same standards as any other military force.

Additionally, Maj. Gen. Isabelle applauds the Liberian government’s commitment to increase the welfare of the force, saying it will pay dividends for the army and the people of Liberia.

He also applauds the AFL for its initiative to improve health and welfare of service members and their families who pay great dividends in the effectiveness of the AFL and Liberia as well.

Maj. Gen. Isabelle thanks the Minister of Defense and his team for the successful partnership they have enjoyed over the last ten years with the Michigan National Guard, and congratulates the Liberian Army here on its 62nd anniversary.

According to Maj. Gen. Isabelle, the Michigan National Guard’s military partnership with Liberia is tailored to meet the goals of the AFL by assisting to build the force and do everything they can to help them operate [a professional] army.

Concluding, he lauds the citizenry here for their support to the AFL.

For his part, Defense Minister Daniel Ziankahn told journalists that Maj. Gen. Isabelle had come to Liberia to observe the Armed Forces Day celebration held on Monday, 11 February.

According to Minister Ziankahn, the Michigan Army General also came here to discuss with the Ministry some other issues on how to “solidify our relationship,” explaining that there has been a state partnership with the Michigan National Guard and Liberia since 2009.

Minister Ziankahn discloses that they have been working very strongly to build some of the areas including the fields of engineering, medical, mentorship and the infantry.

In recognition of the great help coming from the Michigan National Guard, Defense Minister Ziankahn says the Ministry of National Defense and the AFL couldn’t have asked for any better partner.

He describes the Michigan National Guard as a very great partner to the Ministry and the AFL.
By Winston W. Parley

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