Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, adjutant general of the Michigan National Guard and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs addressed friends, family and coworkers, Sept. 28, 2015, during a departure ceremony for the 2016 Operation Onward Liberty team. The eight members of the team will call Monrovia, Liberia home for the next year while they mentor Armed Forces of Liberia soldiers on technical and tactical skills. The group is replacing OOL 15 MING soldiers who also served a one-year tour. The development of the Armed Forces of Liberia was guided by Liberia’s National Defense Act of 2008, which was signed following many years of civil war in the country. Michigan and Liberia were paired in 2009 under the Department of Defense, State Partnership Program, managed by the National Guard. Mentoring Liberian forces serves to strengthen partnership ties in addition to many separate SPP initiatives directed at domestic growth and health in the country.
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