BARCLAY TRAINING CENTER, MONROVIA- 24 MARCH 2023: As the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) sustain multidimensional collaboration, in March of 2023, AFL leaders participated in two DOD-sponsored conferences, including the Africa Chiefs of Defense (CHOD) conference in Rome, Italy and the African Maritime Forces Summit (AMFS) in Cape Verde.
Major General Prince C. Johnson III, AFL Chief of Staff, joined senior U.S. leaders at the CHOD conference in Rome, Italy. Captain (CG) John S-Kek Willie, the Liberia Coast Guard commander and more than 80 delegates from 38 countries were at the inaugural African Maritime Forces Summit (AMFS) in Sal Island, Cabo Verde, March 20-22, 2023.
This year’s CHOD conference theme was “How our Combined Resources and Requirements Affect our Reality, Reputation, and Response.”
AMFS is a strategic-level forum that brings maritime and naval infantry leaders together to address transnational maritime security challenges within African waters including the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and Mediterranean Sea. AMFS is a new model for African senior leadership engagement, which combines the three senior leadership symposiums traditionally held during NAVAF’s annual regional express-series exercises into a single continent-wide event.
The summit’s theme was “security at sea, enables stability ashore,” and it will offer opportunities for leaders to discuss strategic and operational approaches to maritime security including strengthening law enforcement, roles and missions of naval infantry, and region-specific initiatives. Delegates also visited the Arleigh Burke guided-missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) to observe shipboard firefighting demonstrations, joint U.S. Coast Guard and Cabo Verdean boarding drills, and simulated bomb-disposal robotics conducted by U.S. Marines.
“We as a Navy aim to demonstrate the strategic and security benefits that derive from fully embracing the unique skills and capabilities that our Allies and partners have to offer. The nations of Africa share the same united perspective of free and open sea lanes. Coming together in this unique forum to learn from each other bridges geographic and governmental gaps and strengthens our shared commitment to addressing African maritime security initiatives,” said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro.