In this year’s Annual Address to the National Legislature, the Commander-In-Chief (C-I-C) of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf disclosed to the Nation government’s plan to nominate Liberians as Chief of Staff (COS) deputy COS, and Brigade Commander. That plan by the government came to pass on February 4, 2014; when C-I-C Sirleaf released the names of the three nominees, Colonel Daniel Dee Ziankahn, Jr. (now Brig/Gen), Colonel Eric Wamu Dennis for the AFL positions of COS and deputy COS and the Brigade Commander, Prince Charles Johnson, III respectively. Through that promotion, Johnson now becomes Lieutenant Colonel P.C. Johnson, III.The three soldiers are now at the helm of the AFL as the first Liberian officers in charge since the post-war era. General Suraj Alao Abdurrahman, the Nigerian Command Officer-In-Charge of the AFL, turned over the position to the current Commander-In-Chief on Armed Forces Day, February 11, at the Barclay Training Center (BTC) during a colorful ceremony. Prior to their nomination by the President to the Liberian Senate, the three officers had met all requirements necessary, including advanced and strategic training at various military institutions. Their deportment and discipline had been highly commended by the country’s international partners involved in restructuring of the AFL.The nominations were then made in keeping with Article 54, Section E, of the Liberian Constitution, which authorizes the President, who is also the C-I-C of the AFL, to nominate— with the consent of the Senate— appoint and commission members of the military from the rank of Lieutenant or equivalent and above.These Liberian soldiers that were promoted to those positions have amassed an impressive set of individual qualifications in addition to meeting the required benchmarks for the job.So, Who is the New Brigade Commander, Lt/Colonel Prince Charles Johnson, III ?Lt/Col. P.C. Johnson, III, is an infantry officer in the new AFL. He had previously served the AFL for eight years since enlistment into the force in September 2007. Col. Johnson was born on July 12, 1976, in Monrovia, Montserrado County. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant upon the completion of the Officer Candidate School (OCS) in 2007.Since his commissioning ceremony, Col. Johnson held several positions within the AFL. Some of the positions included: Chief of Operations, Headquarters of the AFL; deputy Chief of Operations; Chief of Logistics; and Military Assistant (MA) to the Minister of National Defense, Brownie Jeffery Samukai, Jr. He was also Assistant Brigade Operations Officer (S3), 2nd Battalion Executive Officer; Company commander and a Platoon Commander.Academic AchievementsLt/Col. Johnson holds a post graduate certificate in public sector management from the Institute for Public Administration and Management (IPAM) in 2010 from the University of Sierra Leone, Freetown; a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in Accounting from the United Methodist University (UMU)-2004 in Monrovia, Liberia. Since then, Col. Johnson has had the opportunity to attend several other military courses including the United States (US) Command and General Staff College (CGSC) in Fort Leavenworth, Kansa, USA-2011/12; the Infantry Mechanized Company Commander Course (MCCC) in Shijiazaugh Hebei Province, China-2010; the Junior Staff Course (JSC) Horton Military Academy, Freetown, Sierra Leone-2010; and the Infantry Young Officer Course at the Nigeria Army School of Infantry in Jaji Kaduna, Nigeria 2008. Additionally, Col. Johnson has attended several other seminars including the United States African Center for Strategic Studies Managing Security Resources in Africa Certificate, Washington DC, USA. This was held from November 3-10, 2012, and Senior Military Leadership Seminar Certificate also in Washington DC, USA held from June 16-29, 2012. He has received several awards, some of which include the First Place Award Junior Staff Course (JSC) IMATT, Freetown, Sierra Leone; Best International Student Award-YOC, Jaji Kaduna, Nigeria; Distinguished Graduate Award-OCS, Monrovia, Liberia; and the Best Leadership Award-Advance Individual Training (AIT, Monrovia-Liberia. Brigade Commander, Lt/Col. P.C. Johnson, III, is happily married to Catarina Fabiansson; a union that is now blessed with thier sons Charlie and Leo. Johnson’s hobbies include playing soccer, traveling, and eating exotic foods at foreign restaurants. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Pilots picket in front of Ted Stevens International Airport in support of Alaska Airlines’ pilots request for a new contract. (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)On Monday afternoon, more than 50 pilots and flight attendants picketed in front of Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage. Their goal was to call on Alaska Airlines management to give them what they view as fairer wages and benefits.Listen nowWhile passengers were arriving to catch various flights at the airport, a group of pilots stood in front of the departure terminal. They silently held signs with messages like “This merger won’t fly without the pilots onboard” and “Culture: Ain’t no sunshine when it’s gone”.Alaska Airlines purchased Virgin America last year and became the fifth largest U.S carrier. Virgin had been in similar contract negotiations prior to the merger. Pilots from both Alaska and Virgin — along with flight attendants — were picketing to show management that they were united in their demands for new contracts. Capt. David Campbell is a pilot and spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association, the union that Alaska Airline pilots are a part of.“We’ve been negotiating for almost a year and a half and management has insisted that we should be willing to work at a discount from our peers across the industry,” Campbell said.Campbell said that the picketing was less of a protest and more of a show of unity. He said the list of demands the pilots have isn’t exhaustive.“So we have limited these contract negotiations to only three items,” Campbell said. “Those are pay, retirement in the form of 401(k) contributions and job security in the form of scope.”Campbell said that pilots with Alaska Airlines make about 20-23% less than their peers in other organizations. The company reported profits last year of more than $900 million, but also paid employees $100 million in bonuses in February.Alaska Airlines spokespeople wouldn’t comment beyond what was sent out in a press release on Friday. The statement said that the company hopes “for a resolution through arbitration that will result in our pilots receiving a significant wage rate increase while maintaining Alaska Airlines ability to successfully grow and compete.”Campbell said the union has met with arbitrators in order to hash out their proposal for Alaska Airlines management. He wouldn’t say what kind of pay raise the pilots are asking for.“We believe that our position is reasonable,” Campbell said. “It’s certainly affordable. It’s what every other carrier offers to their pilots, and so in that sense, we’re hopeful that our argument will win the day.”Campbell said arbitration proceedings will begin next week.