Local News

Bragg soldiers train for Ebola mission

Posted October 9, 2014

— Army Spc. Max Oja is among the soldiers at Fort Bragg who are preparing for a mission that will take them halfway around the world, into the heart of the deadly Ebola outbreak in Africa.

These days, his mind is on the specializing training designed to keep him safe.

“It’s always about training,” he said during a session Thursday on the post. “You always train for the event that you’re going to do, and you always try to train, practice how you perform.”

Fort Bragg officials said last week that about 120 soldiers from the post will deploy to Africa to help the Department of Defense effort to contain the Ebola virus. The soldiers are not expected to come in direct contact with those infected with Ebola. Instead, they will provide support for the international medical teams that are treating patients.

The layers of boots, gloves and a protective suit are their defense against an invisible enemy.

“It’s a little odd, but it’s not bad,” Spc. Rebecca Walter said after trying on the protective suit. “Actually, I don’t have any personal thoughts (about the mission). I’m just ready to go.”

Military leaders say this mission holds danger beyond the Ebola virus. That’s because there are a number of endemic diseases in West Africa - including malaria, typhoid and yellow fever - that can also kill.

“These are diseases that are airborne, waterborne in some cases. They come to you,” said Col. Mike Talley, commander of the 44th Medical Brigade. “When we’re talking about the Ebola virus, this is a disease where you have to come to it.”


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • southerntalent Oct 10, 2014

    does anyone with a military friend or relative know if there is any truth to the fact they will be taking dogs on this mission and leaving them behind?

  • Danny22 Oct 10, 2014

    I cannot believe we are doing this to our soldiers. I can't believe nothing is being done at the border. I can't believe Obama has not banned travel from W. Africa. The safety of Americans is secondary for this president.

  • andreanicole686 Oct 10, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Some how it would still spread. It's good to help other countries just as much as our own.

  • Setnitst8 Oct 10, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Maybe not in Africa, you're right. But it will stop it from coming into the US. call me selfish I guess, but that's what I'm concerned about.

  • Tarheel Takeover Oct 10, 2014

    View quoted thread

    But stopping flights to other countries will not stop the spread. It may spread to others as quickly as it would have, but it will not stop the spread.

  • sinenomine Oct 10, 2014

    COLT45 is not alone in wanting to bury our heads in the sand over Ebola.

    What COLT45 and others don't understand is that we're not so much helping African countries as helping ourselves. It's always better to beat an enemy on its own territory before it invades yours.

    If your mind isn't already made up (and comments on this board would indicate that there might be as many as two or three posters in that category) take a look at this editorial Friday morning in The Washington Post:


  • Setnitst8 Oct 10, 2014

    View quoted thread

    No, I actually get it quite well. Keeping those isolated communities contained doesn't help fight this at the global level. If we are allowing anyone who may have been in these "isolated" communities just bored planes freely, then we are not doing a good job at containing it to just those communities are we?

  • 426X3 Oct 10, 2014

    The sad thing here is Big Brother (US) is once again tasked to take care of a foreign country that in good times could probably care less about the US.

  • Tarheel Takeover Oct 10, 2014

    Its ironic how these countries that have Ebola, are the same countries that the rest of the world has been robbing for years for their gold and diamonds.

  • Bill Brasky Oct 10, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Not sure you are seeing the whole picture with this one. The key is to try to keep it contained in the isolated communities where it started. Europe isn't to far away,and if we lose Europe the US will be next.