The U.S. Ebola response military, under the Operation United Assistance, has begun offloading containers of Ebola fighting materials and food from a contracted vessel, the VEGA, at the port of Buchanan in Grand Bassa County.VEGA brought in 57 twenty-foot equivalents of Force Provider Equipment, 16 forty-foot flat racks of Rough Terrain Container Handler, 68 containers of foodstuffs, three containers of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and 30 twenty-foot equivalents of fuel tanks.The vessel also brought in 455 containers of building materials for ETUs and 4 containers of mixed supplies which, when put into perspective, would take over 300 C-17 Cargo Transport aircraft to deliver the same amount of cargo aboard VEGA.According to Lt. Col. Sydney Harris, commander for the Transportation Unit, the offloading, which began October 25, is expected to take about five days to complete, and afterward two other vessels larger than the VEGA will be arriving with more supplies.This is the first shipment of several seaport operations providing supplies to Liberia from the U.S. to support government’s response to the Ebola crisis.This means that there will be a larger influx of needed supplies to sustain troops and build training and treatment facilities in the effort to contain the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).Former commander of the Joint Force Operation United Assistance, Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams, acknowledged earlier that the U.S. troops would work with the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) to build treatment and training centers in the entire operations.In this regard, the Liberian Coast Guard (LCG), as part of the AFL, is providing waterside port security using skills and knowledge gained over the last five years as part of a larger U.S. Security Cooperation program mentored by the U.S. Coast Guard.The LCG effort, according to a statement from the U.S. Embassy, will feature the capabilities of their 27-foot and 33-foot safe boats provided by the United States Government.As our reporter toured the Buchanan Port on Saturday, members of the Joint Force Command – United Assistance (839th Transportation Battalion) – were seen assisting in the offloading of cargo, using 40 trucks and 3 ship cranes.Buchanan, according to experts’ view, is a “Light port” capable of receiving light cargo vessels and containers. This indicates that it can take vessels of 200 meters or less in length and cannot be so heavy as to have more than 30 feet of hull under the water.Meanwhile, the U.S. and Liberian forces are constructing a Brigade Support Area (BSA) in Buchanan to include a 40,000 square meter secure container yard to house supplies, and a Life Support Area capable of sustaining approximately 1000 troops.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Despite the West Indian boys recently suffering a disappointing series after Bangladesh managed to ease past them 2-1 in the One-Day International (ODI) series, the three matches played in Guyana and St Kitts proved to be fruitful for the home team. West Indies’ new “breath of fresh air”, Shimron Hetmyer has registered a massive leap in the ODI rankings, propelling himself to 59th on the list. Hetmyer hit 207 runs in total with knocks of 52, 125 and 30, and moved up a stunning 77 positions to settle at the 59th spot. After the match-winning century in Providence, he had reached 528 points, his best in a short career so far, before losing some points following the series decider.The young man, who made his Test debut in December last year during the West Indies tour of New Zealand, has only played a total of 12 matches, but his hard hitting and calculated string of innings have made it clear that he is well on his way to the top.Chris Gayle and Rovman Powell were the heroes of their chase, and the batsmen’s table put them at No 66 (up 12 spots) and No 92 (up 16 spots) respectively. Windies Captain Jason Holder currently holds the highest West Indian position at 27th.Over on the bowlers’ side of things, off-spinner Ashley Nurse has propelled himself to the 38th spot moving some 25 places, while Guyanese Devendra Bishoo has now broken into the top 100, in the 92nd spot.Meanwhile, Tamim Iqbal, the star of Bangladesh’s ODI series win over the Windies, has led the rise of the Bangladeshis in the latest rankings.Iqbal was outstanding. He scored 130* and 103 in the first and third ODIs, both of which Bangladesh won, and hit 54 in a losing cause in the second game to aggregate 287. That made him the Player of the Series too, and gave him a career-high 737 points and the No 13 spot in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s ODI Player Rankings for batsmen.It’s a rise of four spots for Iqbal, who has now taken his century tally in ODIs to 11.“I think the patience that I showed in the first, second and third match makes me happy, as it proved that my hard work paid off,” said Iqbal after the series, referring to the 160, 85 and 124 balls he faced in the three innings – in the first, he batted right through the innings.Iqbal wasn’t the only Bangladeshi on the move.Shakib Al Hasan, the talismanic all-rounder, had a good series too, with scores of 97, 56 and 37, and two wickets in the second game. That helped him move up three places to 26th among batsmen, and although he lost three spots in the bowlers’ table, he remained the top-ranked ODI all-rounder.Of the other prominent scorers in the series for Bangladesh, Mahmudullah gained four positions to get to No 38 – his 49-ball 67* also gave him a career-high 575 points – but, interestingly, Mushfiqur Rahim dropped a spot to 22nd despite a rapid 30 in the first game and a 67-ball 68 in the second.Mashrafe Mortaza and Mustafizur Rahman were Bangladesh’s best bowlers in the Caribbean. Mortaza was the series topper in terms of wickets, with seven including 4-37 in the first match, and rose eight spots to be joint 19th with Matt Henry of New Zealand. Rahman earned a career-best 610 points earlier in the series before ending with 609 points and the No 17 spot, a gain of two spots.