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EDITORIAL COMMENT

the Editor
--> The 'Defender Magazine'. is the mouthpiece of the MoD/RSLAF. It is intended to be published annually under the expressed permission of the Minister of Defence through the Chief of Defence Staff.

Views, opinions and comments expressed in this publication are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent official endorsement of the MoD/RSLAF, unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized reproduction of its contents in part or whole is prohibited.

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DEFENDER MAGAZINE: "RSLAF' the Pride of our Nation"

This is the second edition of the 'Defender Magazine', the voice of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF). The magazine was first published in 2012 and is intended to serve as a good means of informing the public and service personnel alike, on issues and annual activities of the MoD/RSLAF. Circumstances beyond our control prevented the timely publication of subsequent editions until now.
Thus, while this edition mainly reviews key issues and activities of the year 2014 running into 2015, it also attempts to cover issues that attracted public interest in 2013. As the country was ushered into 2014 with great potentials, so also were its major institutions like the RSLAF.

The developmental plans and programmes of the MoD/RSLAF were right on target by the end of 2013, which explains why this Ministry was rated second and presented with a Silver Award in the Annual Performance Review of all MDAs for 2013.

Peacekeeping which was fast becoming the main source of livelihood for the RSLAF was gradually gathering momentum as we had been assigned control of a whole Sector in Somalia. Our training activities to enhance our professionalism were also intensifying, while our new Tailoring Industry continues to do well in meeting some of the RSLAF needs for uniforms. Even the Government's focus on developing the RSLAF has witnessed a renewed vigour, as already manifested by the construction works at Gondama, Daru and Wilberforce Barracks, and the imminent commencement of the construction of 4 new barracks at various locations in the country to ensure our living conditions are improved.

Furthermore, the RSLAF has also received an unprecedented brand new vehicle fleet. These successes only needed to be consolidated and moved forward when unfortunately we were greeted so early in 2014 with the dreadful virus disease called Ebola.

Nevertheless, we recognize the fact that the full potentials of our plans can only be realized with the eventual defeat of Ebola. For this reason, the clarion call by the Government and people of Sierra Leone for the full involvement of the RSLAF in the fight against this vicious enemy was embraced with total willingness and dedication. The RSLAF has been seen dominating in various spheres of the fight in support of the MoHS. Even the troops, whose deployment to Somalia was aborted due to this same Ebola outbreak, were all given some training and deeply engaged in this national fight. Our financial contribution from our meagre salaries has also been rated among the highest locally.
The articles in this magazine represent individual views based on research and some available facts, on what the RSLAF currently looks like and what it is expected to be in the medium and long term as compared to other Armed Forces in the sub-region and beyond. I am very hopeful that this magazine will make a good read for our revered readership and I hope it will be found handy in the public's quest for information on the MoD/RSLAF.

Let me thank all those who in diverse ways have made the publication of this magazine possible particularly those who contributed articles and stories. Members of the editorial team deserve special appreciation for their great effort in making inputs in spite of their busy schedule. I want to encourage all officers, men and women of the RSLAF and the MoD civilian staff alike to show more interest in this magazine and contribute articles and stories of relevance to the MoD/RSLAF so that the publication could be released as often as possible for the regular and timely information of the public and MoD/RSLAF personnel nationwide.

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