In order to augment its strength in the wake of UNMIL draw down, about a company sized of recruits of the Armed of Liberia last Thursday arrived at the Tubman Military Academy(TMA) for their zero week, which marks the beginning of their Initial Entry Training (lET) expected to last for the next six weeks. The JET will be followed by the Advanced Individual Training (AlT), which lasts for a period of four weeks. Out of the 171 recruits that were pre-qualified for the zero week, 168 turned out for departure to the Tubman Military Academy.
The recruits were drawn from the list of those who met rigorous selection standards during the nationwide recruitment carried out in 2013. These recruits fulfilled all foundational requirements, which include inter alia aptitude examinations, non-judicial vetting, physical fitness test, and medical examinations.
These recruits, consisting of 17 females and 151 males will constitute the second batch of recruits to be independently trained by trainers from the Armed Forces of Liberia Training command.
The recruits will over the next sixteen weeks, be trained in various courses constituting civics, human rights, basic soldiering, among others. As the training progresses, the recruits are expected to take the oath of allegiance during the second week of their basic initial training.
The ongoing recruit training is part of efforts by the AFL aimed at imbuing and retaining confidence in the greater Liberian population. The national security structure, inclusive of the AFL is bracing up for take over when UNMIL leaves.
Meanwhile two officers of the Armed Forces of Liberia are expected to leave the country for a peacekeeping seminar in the Federative Republic of Brazil.
The invitation to attend the upcoming seminar was extended to the AFL through the Brazilian Ambassador accredited near this capital, His Excellency Andre LuizAzevedo dos Santos on behalf of his government. The seminar which is expected to run from November 2-5, marks the reinforcement of the structure of relations between the two militaries. In general, the seminar marks Brazil’s contribution to the enhancement of peacekeeping knowledge of the Liberian military. In particular, the seminar will provide both exposure and window of opportunities for the Liberian officers to have first-hand contacts with their Brazilian counterparts.
In another development, Defense Minister, Brownie J. Samukai Jr., has congratulated the new Special Representative of United Nations Secretary General (SRSG) to Liberia, FaridZarif for his ascendency.
Minister Samukai said he remained grateful to the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) for its twelve years of service to the Government and people of Liberia, dating back to 2003.
The Defense Minister further appreciates UNMIL for the numerous training opportunities afforded the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) since its restructuring began in 2006, with a particular reference to the AFL’s capacity enhancement in the areas of engineering, field training exercises and the disposal of unexploded ordnances.
Minister Samukai asserted that he has always lauded the good working relationship subsisting between UNMIL and the Security Sector, especially the Defense Sector. He also expressed hope that the collaboration and the coordination currently being enjoyed by both parties will continue as UNMIL gradually draws down.
The Defense Boss made these assertions on Friday, 11 September 2015, at his Barclay Training Center office, at the UN Drive when the new Special Representative of United Nations Secretary General (SRSG), His Excellency FaridZarif paid him a courtesy visit.
In response, Mr. Zarif thanked Minister Samukai for his astute leadership and dedicated services to the people of Liberia over the years.
The SRSG intimated that he was overwhelmed by the ability of the Liberian people in surmounting the challenges the nation has faced over the years, adding “I am gratified by the commitment of officials who take their job seriously in putting the nation back on the path of improvement.”
He further intoned that UNMIL will continue to stand by Liberia as an ally in accomplishing its targeted goals for national recovery.
In addition, Mr. Zarif spoke optimistically that UNMIL will endeavor to provide training opportunities aimed at enhancing the operational capabilities of the Liberian military, emphasizing that “success can be assured by working together in overcoming challenges”.