By Duannah Siryon
Liberia continues to make progress in its postwar recovery with support from friendly countries as nine members of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) have completed training in their various areas of expertise and have returned home.
On Friday, July 14, Gate T69 at Brussels International Airport in Belgium was a scene of excitement as the nine AFL members waited to board their flight for home after completing their studies under the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Liberia bilateral relations.
The AFL personnel included Capt. George F. Montgomery II, who graduated from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) University of Science and Technology with emphasis on Computer Networking and Networking Security.
Ensign/Lt. Dickson Agbo and PO-3 Prince Andrew studied diving at the Naval Submarine Academy of China, while Sgt. Romeo Pajibo completed his studies in Automotive Engineering at the PLA Tianjin Foreign University.
Cpl. Edwin T. Williams and Sgt. Sonnie Kpadeh earned certificates in Military Transportation from Tianjin Transportation University, with Sgt. Sonnie Kpadeh being the lone female among the returnees.
Sgt. Foday Freeman received certification in Communications Equipment Maintenance Engineering at the PLA University of Science and Technology, while Sgt. Keah Michael Nyan received his in Automotive Engineering from Tianjin Transportation University.
The soldiers expressed satisfaction with the training and said they were delighted to return home to contribute to Liberia’s development.
“These opportunities are strategically intended to increase the human and technical capacities of Liberians in all disciplines in the AFL under the dynamic leadership of Minister Brownie Samukai and the government under the leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,” one of the soldiers said.
“As Liberians, we must join hands in extending congratulatory messages to these brave men and women of the AFL for the courage to not only bear arms to protect and defend this republic but to academically empower themselves for careers after their military service,” said an excited Liberian at the airport.
The returning soldiers extended thanks and appreciation to the “ bilateral partners, particularly the government and people of the People’s Republic of China for extending such opportunity to Liberians. We also must thank President Sirleaf for her support to empower personnel of the AFL.”