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US Celebrates With Coast Guard – As Pres. Weah Dedicates Boat Station and Ramp

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With President George Manneh Weah dedicating a newly constructed boat station and ramp for the Liberia National Coast Guard (LNCG) at the Port of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, US Ambassador Christine Elder says the United States government gladly accepted the challenge to help re-establish the Liberian Coast Guard as a specialized maritime law enforcement unit within the Armed Forces of Liberia.

The US Ambassador Christine Elder was making her remarks at the occasion when the Boathouse and Boat Ramp for the Liberian Coast Guard in Buchanan was being dedicated on Wednesday, February 6, 2019.

The United States envoy indicated that when approached by the Liberian government in 2010, after nine years of investing in the development of the new Liberian Coast Guard, the embassy is proud to celebrate with Liberia with a substantially improved capacity to protect the vital coast, ports, and citizens of this nation.

“The United States has provided support to the Liberian Coast Guard by training and equipping Coast Guard personnel and by building new infrastructure, as many of you saw recently at the Freeport in Monrovia and now here in Buchanan.

“The U.S. government has provided a grant – not a loan – a gift, to the people of Liberia to fund the base refurbishment and station construction at the Freeport in Monrovia, and procured all the necessary vessels and equipment including the 6 patrol crafts, 16 Zodiac boats, 4 Ford trucks, spare boat engines and parts for the Liberian Coast Guard.  We’ve also assisted in the recruiting and vetting of over 100 personnel, providing specialized maritime security and law enforcement training in the United States, other countries, and in Liberia.

“In Buchanan, the United States government funded the construction of this Boathouse and Boat ramp at a cost of approximately $1.7 million USD.  I’m also proud to share that the permanent fixed pier being constructed at the Freeport is almost complete, and represents an additional grant of over $1M USD.

“The United States government’s efforts are fully aligned with Liberia’s National Security Strategy.

“The establishment of the Liberian Coast Guard Station Buchanan will advance our goal of assisting Liberia in its efforts to enhance regional and maritime security that can combat transnational crime and improve food security by deterring illegal fishing.  This new Coast Guard Station will expand the Liberian Coast Guard’s operational capability to protect Liberia’s territorial waters in the port city of Buchanan, and beyond.  With this increased capability and capacity, the Liberian Coast Guard can better respond to foreign poaching, conduct search and rescue, and lead in disaster response.

“The U.S. government is committed to continuing the process of developing a Liberian Coast Guard that is capable of patrolling and protecting all of Liberia’s territorial waters.  To accomplish this goal, Liberia will need to expand beyond the current Coast Guard Bases in the Freeport of Monrovia and Buchanan and eventually establish a presence in Greenville and Harper.  However, growing a strong Liberian Coast Guard will require a sustained commitment from the Liberian government to maintain the progress achieved and will require trained, experienced and dedicated crew and leaders with appropriate logistic support systems.

“The United States knows that President Weah takes no responsibility more seriously than ensuring the safety of his citizens, the security of Liberia’s key economic and infrastructure installations, and the protection of Liberia’s borders.  So we will continue to support you in this effort, and remain committed to the security and prosperity of Liberia”, a press release by the US Embassy has said.

Meanwhile President George Manneh Weah Wednesday, February 6, 2019 dedicated a newly constructed boat station and ramp for the Liberia Coast Guard (LCG) at the port of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.

The government of the United States constructed the facilities as part of its technical and financial assistance to the reconstruction of the Liberia Coast Guard, an arm of the national security structure manning and monitoring the country’s territorial waters and maritime industry.

President Weah, flanked by officials of Government as well as partners, thanked God for his manifold blessings upon Liberia as he cut the ribbon to the building.

It is the second dedication of such facilities President Weah has performed in less than a year, manifesting his government’s determination and commitment to addressing the many challenges faced by the security sector, mainly the Coast Guards.

Few months ago, the Liberian leader, who is working with the country’s partners to improve the security sector, dedicated the first boat house built by the US Government Base on the Bushrod Island.

President Weah at the time lauded America’s continuous and increased support to Liberia’s efforts to improve its security sector.

President Weah was joined at the dedication program by several officials of government and partners, including the entire Legislative Caucus of Grand Bassa County, Minister of State, Hon. Nathaniel McGill, Finance Minister, Hon. Samuel Tweah, Jr., the head of USAID and others.

Meanwhile, the Liberian government moved to address problems affecting the smooth operation of the Government Hospital in Buchanan.

Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Hon. Nathaniel F. McGill, on behalf of President Weah, toured the medical facilities to get firsthand appreciation of the situation to be able to make required intervention.

The government, through the National Port Authority (NPA), announced an initial assistance of US$50,000, one ambulance and two motorbikes to the Hospital.