News: Liberian head of state thanks Marines, Sailors, U.S. citizens for humanitarian relief efforts
Story by Sgt. Rocco Defilippis
By Sgt. Rocco DeFilippis
U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe Public Affairs
NEW KRU TOWN, Liberia – Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, Donald E. Booth, along with representatives of the U.S. military and Liberian government gathered at Redemption Clinic here March 26, to recognize the efforts of the American military during the African Partnership Station and the West African Training Cruise 2008.
The event featured speeches by President Sirleaf, Ambassador Booth, military commanders, several ministers and representatives for the Liberian government thanking the efforts of the APS staff in delivering more than $3 million in humanitarian assistance supplies and equipment to the country of Liberia.
"I'm quite sure that when the people heard that there were naval vessels off the coast of our country, there was quite a bit of anxiety," said President Sirleaf. "Little did they know, this is a different kind of a vessel. A vessel with soldiers no doubt, but a vessel that brings hope, service and people who join our people in sacrificial service for those who need that service most. We extend to each and every one of you our hand of friendship and gratitude for what you have done in coming to join us and responding to the needs of our people."
Major Gen. Cornell Wilson Jr., commanding general of Marine Corps Forces Europe, joined the distinguished list of speakers during the event, to remark on the Marine Corps' role in the delivery of more than $58,000 worth of humanitarian assistance supplies to clinics and schools throughout the city of Monrovia during exercise WATC 08.
As one of the many events associated with African Partnership Station, an initiative to improve maritime safety and security throughout West and Central Africa, WATC 08 was planned and coordinated by Marine Forces Europe with Marines from 4th Landing Support Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group carrying out the operations.
Wilson said that despite the military's role in delivering the supplies, the people of America made the donations possible. He also emphasized that Liberia and America have shared many ties in the past, and that the efforts of APS and WATC were just the start to a continued partnership between the US and Liberia.
"You see the uniforms, you see the sailors, soldier and Marines around you, but the American people have contributed to this effort," Wilson said. "We are delighted to do so, and we will continue to do so. Our partnership will stay strong and we are committed to making sure you are strong and safe, and being your partner for years to come."
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