Michigan National Guard and Armed Forces of Liberia State Partnership- almost ten years and going strong.

Maj. Gen. Leonard Isabelle, assistant adjutant general and commander Michigan Air National Guard, and soldiers of the Michigan National Guard pose for a picture with Maj.Gen. Prince Charles Johnson, III, Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of Liberia, and Brig. Gen. Geraldine George, Deputy Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of Liberia, after a meeting to talk about the state partnership between Michigan and Liberia, Monrovia, Liberia, Feb. 11, 2019. (Michigan National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st. Class Helen Miller)

LANSING, MI, UNITED STATES

02.17.2019

Story by Sgt. 1st Class Helen Miller

46th Military Police Command

Michigan and Liberia have been connected since 2010 when the Michigan National Guard entered into a partnership with Liberia as part of the National Guard State Partnership Program. During a recent state partnership visit between the Armed Forces of Liberia and the Michigan National Guard in Monrovia, Liberia, Maj. Gen. Leonard Isabelle, assistant adjutant general and commander of the Michigan Air National Guard, and Soldiers of the Michigan National Guard’s Joint Forces Headquarters were able to participate in the 62nd Armed Forces Day celebration, attend the Armed Forces Day Ball, visit the Edward Binyah Kesselly military training facility, see the new site for the 14 Military Hospital, and meet with the Defense Minister, Daniel Ziankahn, all in an effort to reflect on the partnership and to talk about the plan for the way forward as they continue to interact as partners and friends.

During a meeting with Defense Minister Ziankahn, Maj. Gen. Isabelle thanked 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 congratulated the Liberian Army on its 62nd Armed Forces day anniversary.He also congratulated the Armed Forces of Liberia for its efforts to improve health and welfare of the service members and their families.

“We are happy to continue working to improve the Liberian military through our partnership. And we are looking forward to finding ways we can help train professionals for the new military hospital to be successful,” said Maj. Gen. Isabelle.

During the visit the team was able to see the progress of the new 14 Military Hospital being built in Monrovia. The 200-bedroom hospital is being constructed by the AFL’s engineering battalion. This will be the first military hospital ever built in Liberia.

The MING team also got to sit down with Lieutenant Colonel Williams, Commandant, Armed Forces Training Center (AFTC). Williams also showed Maj. Gen. Isabelle and the team around while highlighting the 10 year state partnership between Liberia and Michigan and the plan for the way forward at the AFTC.

It is not every day that you get to sit down and discuss military operations with the Chief of Staff of an Armed Force, but Maj. Gen. Isabelle and his team did just that. They we able to meet and talk with Liberian Army Chief of Staff, Major General Prince Charles Johnson, III and Deputy Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Geraldine George. Maj. Gen. Isabelle thanked the chief of staff for a job well done. “This is my forth time coming to Liberia,” said Isabelle,”and every time I come I am more impressed with the AFL.”

The team worked hard during the visit to figure out what the AFL needs might be and where the Michigan National Guard might be able to help. The Michigan National Guard and Liberian Armed Forces State Partnership is an important part of building capabilities, helping to assure U.S. allies, and provide a lasting cooperation and relationship between the two Armed Forces.

The State Partnership Program has been successfully building relationships for 25 years and now includes 75 partnerships with 81 nations around the globe. The MING/AFL state partnership gives AFL soldiers and MING soldiers opportunities to train and learn from each other, opportunities to travel and learn in a new country and a new environment, and opportunities to meet and make new friends and mentors.

For more photos go to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mi_ng/albums/72157705172131321

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