The Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) is looking forward to tapping on the expertise of the Air Force of the Ghana Armed Forces for the establishment of the Air Wing of the AFL.
To this end, the Chief of Staff of the AFL, Maj. Gen. Prince C. Johnson, last month paid a courtesy visit to Ghana on the arrangements of the Ghanaian Embassy in Liberia to explore avenues of training opportunities for the AFL.
He recalled that the Ghana Armed Forces contributed to the restructuring of the AFL and there is an existing memorandum of understanding that has Ghanaian advisory team that is part of ECOWAS military team assigned at the headquarters of the AFL helping with training and advisory.
He said the AFL is looking forward to activating its air wing as prescribed under the New Defense Act. This, he added, necessitated their visit to Ghana where they inspected the set up and facilities of the Ghana Air Force. He said they also visited other military training facilities and discussed maritime collaboration.
“The whole basis of this visit here is the issue of partnership… Ghana and Liberia have been coordinating for a long time. Today, we would not be sitting here if we had not received the kind of support as far as 1990 when our civil war started,” he said.
Maj. Gen. Johnson made the assertions last Thursday when he paid a courtesy visit to Ghana’s Ambassador to Liberia Mr. Ernest B. Asare Asiedu.
He told reporters that the new defense act calls for the establishment of an army, coast guard and air wing.
According to him, the air force could be used in complementing the efforts of the coast guard in averting illegal fishing on Liberian waters. “You’re also aware that our road network in this country is very bad, when we had UNMIL, it was through their network that allowed us to go to certain areas, especially during the rainy season. So, having an air wing in the Armed Forces of Liberia would be able to assist civil authority. One example is the issue of elections, sometimes to even get ballot boxes is a challenge because of the road condition and our election is in the rainy season; so, by activating the air wing, we would be able to assist the Election Commission, we would be able to help take government officials to other areas.”
For his part, Ambassador Asiedu said Liberia and Ghana share a blood relationship and for that matter Ghana can go to any length in ensuring that Liberia gets on par with Ghana and other nations in the sub-region. He said Ghana and Liberia’s relationship predates colonial era.
“We see that a collaboration between Liberia and Ghana in terms of education, in terms of the military, in terms of health would eventually have a multiplier effect for our common good so that the Sustainable Development Goals that we all have signed to as a guiding principle for advancement of humankind will be sustained,” he said.
The Ghanaian envoy said the collaboration with Liberia is also aimed at ensuring a safe West Africa.