|Sgt. 1st Class Eddie King, a U.S. Army Africa NCO, checks the score at a firing range run by NCOs from the Armed Forces Liberia. King is among several Army NCOs supporting the Liberia Security Sector Reform, a U.S. State Department-led program to rebuild Liberia's military. U.S. Army photo by Rick Scavetta. View all photos from this event.|
Liberian Security Sector Reform: Sharing U.S. Army experiences
19 April 2009
By Rick Scavetta,
U.S. Army Africa Public Affairs
CAREYSBURG, Liberia – U.S. Army Africa noncommissioned officers are working to build leadership capacity within the Armed Forces of Liberia.
The senior NCOs, Sgt. 1st Class Ringo Wilson and Sgt. 1st Class Eddie King, arrived in Liberia in late-January. Through daily interaction, they have built a strong rapport with Liberian forces.
“We are sharing our experience with their officers, NCOs and privates,” King said. “Through this interaction, the AFL soldiers are drawing on ideas, finding things that can help them improve.”
King, a veteran infantryman, advises Liberians on basic soldiering skills. Wilson, who has nearly two decades experience, mentors soldiers on supply and logistics.
U.S. Army Africa is undertaking new assignments on the continent, with Army NCOs taking the lead.
The Liberia mission is indicative of the command’s new role, sharing U.S. Army experience to enhance the security capabilities with African partner nations. Liberia struggled through two civil wars in recent years and is now making efforts to build a professional military that supports peace and stability.
King and Wilson are part of a larger team of mentors, which includes Army NCOs from U.S. Africa Command and the Fort Sill, Oklahoma-based 2nd Battalion, 18th Field Artillery Regiment.
They work under the Liberia Security Sector Reform program, a U.S. State Department-led effort to rebuild Liberia’s military. The program also includes U.S. Marines and contracted civilian mentors.
The rapport building between U.S. and Liberian soldiers has been the highlight of the mentoring program, Wilson said.
“We’ve built a strong and productive team from day one,” Wilson said. “I believe our presence here has made a positive impression and created a relationship that will grow in years to come.”