Defense Raps On U.S. Support

By C. Winnie Saywah-Jimmy
The Acting Defense Minister, Joseph F. Johnson, says the 101st Airborne Division is the best that Liberia could have in curtailing the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) at this time.
“It is my hope that Liberia can leverage opportunities from our American counterparts so that AFL Engineers can carry out post Ebola road rehabilitation and construction,” he emphasized.
Minister Johnson made the expression when a U.S. delegation on a three-day visit to assess the current state of Liberia’s fight against the Ebola Virus Disease, specifically the U. S. support to the fight paid him a courtesy visit yesterday at the Barclay Training Center (BTC).
He expressed appreciation to foreign partners for their support to the Ebola affected countries in the region particularly the U.S. Government and its people for all the support to the Government and people of Liberia which he described as being remarkable.
He further praised the United States Assistant Secretary for Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, Michael Lumpkin for raising the concerns of Liberia to his government.
Acting Minister Johnson re-echoed the Commander-in-Chief’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s statement that the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) has now turned its attention to a more civil-oriented mission as a ‘force for good’ in the fight against Ebola.
The 5-member U.S. delegation, headed by Mr. Lumpkin also expressed gratitude to the Liberian people through the Minister of National Defense, Brownie Samukai, for the level of support given the U.S. troops especially by opening up its facilities.
The goal of the visit is to see progress being made by U.S. troops, what needs to be done further and how the U.S. Government can further assist in the fight against the Ebola virus noting, “See where we were in September and where we are today, a lot is happening.”
He thanked the AFL for its support to the U.S. Military which is helping them to be able to respond in an expeditious manner and at the same time the AFL Chief of Staff, Daniel Zainkahn said together with the 101at Airborne Division Commanding General, they are inflicting casualties on the Ebola virus even though it is an operation order than warfare, it is a leadership assessment.
Meanwhile, Major General Gary J. Volesky, Commander of the 101st Airborne Division led the delegation to several ETU projects including the one in Bong County and together with Minister Johnson they paid an assessment visit also to Greenville, Sinoe County to assess ongoing projects being undertaken by Operation United Assistance (OUA).