US Ambassador Michael A. McCarthy in a handover event donated the Liberia Secure Radio Network (LSRN) to the Government of Liberia, represented by Minister of Justice, Cllr. Frank Musah Dean.
According to a release from the U.S. Embassy near Monrovia, Tobin Bradley, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), and Jefferson S. Kanmoh, National Security Advisor to the President of the Republic of Liberia, also spoke at the event.
Since 2005, the United States has committed more than $150 million to support civilian security and justice sector programs in Liberia. This project alone represents an investment of more than $20 million in Liberia’s peace and security.
Ambassador McCarthy noted, “This new tool enhances security for Liberians, makes life easier for those who serve and protect, and makes life harder for criminals. It will also help make safe, smooth, and transparent elections in 2023 more likely at a moment when the whole world will be watching.”
“Today, especially to my Ministry and the entire security apparatus of the Republic of Liberia, the United States Government and people have once again proved to us all that they are not only one of our strongest strategic partners, but our true friends indeed,” said Justice Minister Dean.
Deputy Assistant Secretary Bradley, who traveled from Washington, DC to attend the event, added: “This capability has the potential to completely transform the way Liberia reports and responds to emerging threats, which ultimately strengthens the security not only of Liberia but of the region as well.”
He also cautioned, “In light of the successes we celebrate today, we must remember that security and stability are objectives we must intentionally work towards every single day and cannot be taken for granted.”
The radio network has now officially been turned over to the Government of Liberia’s Technical Center of Excellence (TCE), which was created in 2015 with the sole mandate to manage this project, the release said. The Technical Center of Excellence serves as the operational arm of the Ministry of Justice for the implementation and management of the LSRN and is headed by the Ministry of Justice and the National Security Council Secretariat.
The TCE is staffed by radio technicians detailed from the Executive Protection Service (EPS), Liberia National Police (LNP), National Security Agency (NSA), Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS), Liberia Drug Enforcement Service (LDEA), and Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitations (BCR). During the event, Minister Dean confirmed that the TCE will be included in the Liberian national budget.
The Technical Center of Excellence has successfully expanded the secure radio network from four repeater sites in and around Montserrado to 26 repeater sites across eight counties. 51 base station sites sit within the coverage area, and all systems have been upgraded from Kenwood system Generation-one to Generation-two.
To ensure that the TCE is prepared to assume the responsibilities of this complex system, the U.S. Embassy sent TCE technicians to receive expert training in South Africa and has also provided extensive on-site training carried out by LSRN contract partner, Olgoonik Solutions.
National Security Advisor Jefferson Kanmoh and Jason Meeks, INL Office Director for Africa and the Middle East, handed out training certificates to the TCE staff, making them fully certified to carry out their duties.