LANSING, MI –
Twenty five members of the Michigan National Guard are off to west Africa, where they will help train Liberia's fledgling military force. The nation was established in 1822 by freed U.S. slaves. It is now recovering from many years of civil war .
Captain Corissa Barton is with the Michigan Guard. She says the project is a welcome change from the Guard's normal deployments in recent years.
"This just is not - especially in the last 10 years - not our typical mission," she says. "We're used to going to Iraq and Afghanistan, so being able to do something like this that's a little bit different, the troops get excited about it."
The Michigan Guard was assigned Liberia as a partner by the U.S. military as part of a project to establish closer ties with emerging national governments. The Michigan team is expected to spend a year in Liberia. Its members come from units all across Michigan.