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Training

In the early 1980s the AFL's central training facility was the Tubman Military Academy, located at Todee. Originally founded in the 1960s with the expectation that it would eventually be developed into a four-year military college, the academy in the early 1980s provided recruit training, basic officer training, instruction in English comprehension, advanced courses for officers, and some technical training.

Recruit training was patterned roughly on the equivalent program of the United States Army. Basic training lasted 90 days, during which the recruit advanced from physical fitness development and drill to weapons instruction. This was followed by basic combat training and advanced individual training. After the completion of basic training, the new soldiers were assigned to an infantry formation and received unit training. Officers chosen from the NCO ranks to become officers were also expected to complete a 90-day advanced course at the academy.

United States advisers played an important role in the conduct of Liberian military training. It was estimated in early 1984 that fully one-half of the AFL had received at least some instruction from American advisers in Liberia or at institutions in the United States. About 150 AFL officer-one-third of the officer corps-had undergone training at foreign military institutions, mainly in the United States. United States military training teams were frequently assigned to Liberia on a temporary basis. Observers noted, however, that after the advisers were removed, all but the few well-led units rapidly lost the skills they had acquired in training.

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