National News

Bragg soldiers to help with Ebola containment

Posted October 3, 2014

— Fort Bragg officials said Friday that about 120 soldiers from the post will deploy to Africa to help the Department of Defense effort to contain the Ebola virus.

The Defense Department says the military has begun medical testing at two new labs in Liberia. Service members are starting construction on two treatment centers there.

U.S. troops will also be responsible for engineering, logistics and medical support to the mission in West Africa, but at this point, officials said, service members will not be treating patients with Ebola.

The Fort Bragg soldiers could deploy by the middle of October. In the coming days, they will receive extensive training on Ebola – the troops are engineers and public affairs specialists, not health care professionals – to ensure their safety.

Soldiers also will deploy from Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Stewart, Ga.; Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Eustis, Va.; and Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., for what the military is calling Operation United Assist.

Fort Bragg said more troops might be committed to the effort in the coming months.

The announcement comes as the clamor grows for the United States to ban travel from the West African countries where the virus is present.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis on Thursday called on the Obama administration ban visitors from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea until the outbreak is under control. The North Carolina House Speaker said it makes no sense to risk more cases of Ebola in the U.S. by allowing travel from those countries.

Earlier Thursday, a spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general said the United Nations believes air travel to and from the West African countries affected by the Ebola virus should continue.

Stephane Dujarric told reporters Thursday that "it's very important not to isolate these countries" as it would worsen their political and economic situations. He says aid groups need access to the region.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • 678devilish Oct 8, 2014

    These soldiers should be extremely careful and not do it all. This is dangerous disease. One man in the United States has dies from this EBOLA. They are not containing the people who has it or the symtoms and its slowly spreading. Lord help us here in the United States and Africa.

  • lobgill7 Oct 3, 2014

    Why doesn't President Obama ban travel from Africa or even Texas? Because he just signed this executive order in August.

  • glarg Oct 3, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Because he assured us that with his administrations policies that an outbreak here was "extremely low". SO it must not be an outbreak.

    Further the only way West Africans are getting here is by air travel onto our soil.
    So it is a easy path to control if he has any will at all.

  • redapace Oct 3, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Why doesn't he ban travel to and from Texas? There is ebola in Texas.

  • ashewing Oct 3, 2014

    This is not what these guys signed up for! Pray for these brave young men and women!

  • 903 wejustnotthatgood Oct 3, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Not to late to stop more from coming in. Sending our soldiers to help is wrong. The United Kingdom was able to do it, but we can't?

  • Kenny Dunn Oct 3, 2014
    user avatar

    Stay strong soldiers.

  • Ex-Republican Oct 3, 2014

    We need to keep our troops home. No amount of firepower can stop a virus.

  • heelhawk Oct 3, 2014

    View quoted thread

    They can barely keep up with a traveler's luggage, much less their travel history. Your statement is true if a traveler has a connection on the same airline or airline partner, but it doesn't address someone leaving Liberia and going to Belgium. Once in Belgium, they could by a ticket to the US on a different airline, or take a train to France first and then fly from there. A ban would stop some potential travel, but it will not completely eliminate the risk.

  • USMC Vet Oct 3, 2014

    Yeah, let's expose more and more of our citizens, then let them come back here for treatment when they get sick. smh
    This is insane, and should be voluntary duty ONLY!!!