Operation Onward Liberty Successfully Concludes Six-Year Engagement To Assist AFL

Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) soldiers listen to range officer direction while Operation Onward Liberty (OOL) mentors look on before firing downrange during a combat marksmanship program (CMP) course led by AFL instructors and supported by OOL mentors at Edward Binyah Kesselly Military Barracks in Monrovia, Liberia, April 26, 2013. The CMP course built on basic marksmanship knowledge and involved various dynamic firing engagements. OOL is a Department of State-funded, U.S. Africa Command program aimed at rebuilding the AFL. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Bryon McGarry/Released)
Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) soldiers listen to range officer direction while Operation Onward Liberty (OOL) mentors look on before firing downrange during a combat marksmanship program (CMP) course led by AFL instructors and supported by OOL mentors at Edward Binyah Kesselly Military Barracks in Monrovia, Liberia, April 26, 2013. The CMP course built on basic marksmanship knowledge and involved various dynamic firing engagements. OOL is a Department of State-funded, U.S. Africa Command program aimed at rebuilding the AFL. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Bryon McGarry/Released)

(Monrovia, August 11, 2016) – Operation Onward Liberty (OOL) today concluded its six-year mentoring and advising mission to assist the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) in building a professional military that is responsible for the country’s security, that is respectful of rule of law, and that is answerable to civilian authority. The AFL has made great strides since its reconstitution in 2005 and is now a professional and capable force; in light of the progress achieved, OOL was able to successfully conclude its mission.

Operation Onward Liberty was officially chartered in 2010. The personnel who formed that first mission built a strong partnership as they worked with their Liberian counterparts in the newly formed Armed Forces of Liberia.  Subsequent teams built on this foundation by training the AFL in a wide variety of skills, from basic infantry tactics to staff operations.  The initial teams were comprised of U.S. Marines, Army, and Air Force personnel; since 2014 the Michigan National Guard has served as the OOL partner.

During the last deployment, known as OOL 16, the advisors were specifically charged with mentoring the Joint Staff of the AFL headquarters.  Their key objectives included:

  • Increasing the effectiveness of the National Military Response Center;
  • Enhancing the Joint Staff’s capacity to man, equip, and train forces;
  • Establishing a functional Noncommissioned Officer support channel;
  • Assisting with the AFL Engineer Battalion and Explosive Ordnance Disposal activation plans; and
  • Improving AFL medical readiness and health care system development.

The OOL 16 team will return to Michigan in August 2016.

After the conclusion of OOL, security cooperation support will continue through the U.S. Embassy’s Office of Security Cooperation, focusing on training and equipping in five main areas: Defense Institution Strengthening, Professional Development, Maritime Security, Engineer Support and Medical Readiness.

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About Cholo Brooks 15568 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.