BARCLAY TRAINING CENTER, MONROVIA- 9 FEBRUARY 2022: The Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Defense of Latvia Armed Forces, Brigadier General Imants Ziedins, has proposed the establishment of a tripartite military-to-military relationship among the Michigan National Guard, the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and the Armed Forces of the Republic of Latvia.
He further stated that when enhanced through a Memorandum of Understanding, the tripartite relationship will seek the establishment of a Non- Commissioned Officers Academy in Liberia, which will not only cater to the training needs of personnel of the AFL, but also other militaries in the sub-region.
Brigadier General Ziedins lauded personnel of the AFL who performed excellently during last year Northern Strike Exercise that took place in Michigan, the United States of America.
Speaking Wednesday, February 9, 2022, at the Ministry of National Defense where he had gone to pay a curtsey call on the Minister of National Defense, Major General Daniel D. Ziankahn, Jr., (Rtd), the Latvia Military Chief expressed his country’s military willingness to strengthen relationship with its Liberian counterpart, stressing that such relationship will benefit the two sisterly institutions and its people.
According to him, the relationship will also enhance experience sharing, the provision of trainings in maritime security, peacekeeping as well as carrying out joint training at the operational and tactical levels.
General Ziedins praised the Minister of National Defense for his astute leadership in superintending the affairs of the Ministry of National Defense and the AFL.
Responding, the Defense Boss welcomed Brigadier General Imants Ziedins and his team to Liberia. He especially appreciated Ziedins General for accepting the invitation extended him to participate in this year Armed Forces Day celebration.
Also, Minister Ziankahn welcomes the proposed partnership among the Michigan National Guard, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Latvia and the AFL.
He further appealed to Brigadier General Ziedins to second some active duty soldiers to assist the AFL in its pre-deployment trainings for peacekeeping missions.
In a related development, Major General Paul D. Rogers of the Michigan National Guard also paid an acquaintance visit to the Minister of National Defense.
Major General Rogers said his visit was also intended to establish a bilateral ties between the AFL and the Armed Forces of the Republic of Latvia in order to foster military to military cooperation between the two countries and to discuss ways in which the Michigan National Guard can harness its support to the 14 Military Hospital.
The Michigan National Guard and the AFL partnership was established in 2009. In 2010, Michigan and Liberia began their first cooperation under the State Partnership Program (SPP). The partnership, led by Major General Rogers, improves the AFL’s capabilities by regularly exchanging best practices and providing opportunities to participate in multinational exercises via Michigan National Guard sponsorship. The AFL has also benefited several logistical supports and training opportunities from the Michigan National Guard.