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Old 09-21-2014, 01:15 PM   #1
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Default Ebola: Operation United Assistance; The US in West Africa

Now that Operation United Assistance has officially begun, and the first military personnel have arrived in Monrovia, I thought it was time for a new thread. This can be the place to keep up with and discuss the details of U.S. assistance on the ground in West Africa.

I'll start it off with a transcript of a DoD press briefing about Operation United Assistance. (Edited to include only Ebola related remarks.) Note that this is a press briefing by the Pentagon spokesman. There's no info yet on whether or not the HQ of General Williams will be doing any media briefings in Liberia, or if all future info will come from DoD spokesmen at the Pentagon.




Department of Defense Press Briefing by Rear Adm. Kirby in the Pentagon
Briefing Room
Presenter: Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby
September 19, 2014


Quote:
...Second, as the president announced on Tuesday, the U.S. government is increasing its assistance to help affected countries deal with the most devastating Ebola outbreak in history. The Defense Department brings unique capabilities and capacity to support our interagency partners, especially the lead federal agency, USAID, as we collectively respond to the outbreak in West Africa.


Let me provide you with just a brief update on what DOD is doing to support this effort.


Major General Darryl Williams, the U.S. Army-Africa commander, will lead the U.S. military's response, Operation United Assistance. He arrived in Monrovia two days ago with a 12-person assessment team. The assessment team is conducting on-the-ground planning and site surveys to construct Ebola treatment units in Liberia.


The assessment team is also evaluating what our deployed U.S. military personnel will need in terms of support infrastructure to sustain the operations for up to six months or however long U.S. military assistance is required.



Major General Williams along with U.S. Ambassador Malac have met with Liberian officials, including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, to discuss our increased U.S. response to the Ebola crisis and toward several sites where more Ebola treatment units will be constructed.


In addition, a C-17 with military handling equipment arrived yesterday. The aircraft offloaded a heavy-duty forklift, a generator and a crew of seven military personnel to quickly assess the capacity and payload of the runways at Roberts International Airport. This equipment will help provide general support for our overall whole-of-government response going forward.


We anticipate that two C-17s will arrive in Liberia this weekend with approximately 45 additional U.S. military personnel, and they will begin work establishing the command headquarters for General Williams.


Currently, program funds approved for the DoD Ebola response are around $30 million. This includes our efforts previously announced, such as the 25-bed deployable hospital, supplies and lab training diagnostic equipment and personnel protective equipment.


On Tuesday, DoD also requested to reprogram an additional $500 million in Fiscal Year 2014 overseas contingency funds to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to fight Ebola.


This is on top of a previous reprogramming request of $500 million.


As such, DoD would be prepared to devote up to $1 billion to Ebola response efforts.


We're still working through all the planning process to determine future requirements and resources, and we expect additional personnel and materials to continue flowing to the affected area over the next several weeks and months.


With that, I'll take your questions.


Justin.


Q: On Ebola, do you -- can you help us understand? Are -- are any of these troops you're sending over there going to be directly caring for patients affected by the virus?


What protection measures are you putting in place to stop the spread to these -- these troops, and again, will they be working directly with any of the patients?



REAR ADM. KIRBY: Thanks.


Right now, the effort does not include U.S. military personnel treating Ebola patients; we're going to be in support of other healthcare workers that -- that are experts at doing this.


And obviously, a key component of moving our troops anywhere in any situation is to make sure that adequately prepare them, train them and equip them for their own personal protection.


And as I mentioned in my opening statement, personal protective equipment is part of the material that we are sending down with them.



So we're doing everything we can to make sure that they're informed, they're educated and they're trained on how to protect themselves from the environment.


But there's no -- there's no intent right now for them to have direct contact with patients.


Courtney.


Q: The two C-17s, the 45 additional personnel, where are they coming from?


And then when you talk about personal protective equipment, does that include weapons? Are they all going to be armed going down there?


REAR ADM. KIRBY: I don't know the answer to your first question, and on the second one, I'll -- let me get back to you as well.


This is not a -- there's not a security issue. The -- the danger, if you will, is the disease itself, not security. So there's no intent to put armed troops down there.


I can't sit here and tell you that -- that amongst none of them will -- will -- will be any firearms, so let me get back to you with a more specific answer.


But we aren't introducing armed troops into Liberia. That's not the purpose here.



These are logistics personnel -- engineers, that kind of thing -- to create these units, so this isn't -- this isn't a combat mission of any kind. Again, the -- the real threat is the -- the disease itself.

...Joe?


Q: (inaudible) two questions. You mentioned -- back to the Ebola thing -- you mentioned the number of $1 billion. Is this -- can you verify that, please?


REAR ADM. KIRBY: Well, it's two -- we asked for two reprogramming requests, each of $500 million. So they came separately. When you add it up, it's about $1 billion.

...Q: Two things. First, can you tell us what you can about this review that the secretary is looking at regarding the DoD's connection with the NFL? And also on Ebola, you said that the troops will have no direct contact with patients.


Can you tell us anything more about what parameters or restrictions are -- this operation is starting out with in terms of will servicemembers there be restricted to their own facilities? Will they be kept entirely out of patient facilities? I mean, what -- will all that be left up to the discretion of the commander? Or are there some ground rules going in regarding (inaudible)?


RER ADM. KIRBY: That's what Major General Williams is going to be working on right now. I mean, he's just now standing up this joint task force headquarters. And he will be working through all the particulars of that.


What I'll say just broadly is that it's important to remember the mission. The mission is to do some training; to build these units and do some logistics, some transports, the movement of materiel. It is not to treat. And General Williams understands those parameters. He knows what his mission is. And he'll make sure that the troops are properly trained themselves and have the -- the protective equipment that they need. But there's no intention right now that they will be interacting with patients or in areas where they would necessarily come into contact with patients.


They're not doctors. They're not nurses. They're not -- they're not trained for that and not equipped for that. That's not part of the mission. So they will be -- they will be kept in locations where they can do their jobs without coming into contact with patients.



As for the particulars, you know, let's let General Williams, he just got there, let him work through and he'll -- and he'll, I'm sure, have more to say in coming days about exactly how he's going to accomplish that. But that's the goal.


It's really important. And we're very good at mission accomplishment. We know what our job is. It's been made very clear to us, and the troops know that as well, and as they flow in, they'll continue to just -- to do what they're focused on, what they've been told to do.

...Q: To follow up on Ebola very briefly. Every time you've answered, you talked about the fact that there is no intent now -- you did mention that several times -- no intent right now for U.S. troops to be involved in treating Ebola patients. Can you really shut the door to -- to that? Is there some future notion that they might be called upon to do that?


And the fact is, even with personal protective gear and everything, you -- how would you know if you might be coming into contact with someone who's developing Ebola or who's been exposed to it? That -- I mean, there certainly is some risk to U.S. troops. But on the treatment question, you qualified it each time.



REAR ADM. KIRBY: We're clear-eyed about the risk that we're incurring in standing up this mission down in Liberia and in Africa with this -- with this deadly disease. And as I answered to Courtney, the disease itself is a threat. We understand that. We get paid to deal in risk and to manage that and to mitigate it the best we can.


It's difficult in any military operation to eliminate it, and the men and women who sign up and serve in the military understand that when they do. The mission right now that General Williams has been assigned is one of engineering and support logistics. And I would say the word "support" means a lot to us. We are supporting USAID and the State Department and also the government of Liberia in this particular case.


Now, this is not a military-led operation. And so the mission itself as it's defined is limited to those -- those areas, and not direct medical care of patients. I'm not going to get into hypotheticals about what might or could change over time. We are -- we have unique capabilities. We try to stay as ready and prepared across those capabilities as we can. And if there should be a need in the future to change the mission, to modify it somewhat, then we'll have that discussion. But there's no discussion about that right now.

...Q: (off mic) did you say how long those troops are supposed to be there as a part of setting up this...


REAR ADM. KIRBY: The initial effort of setting up these treatment units is anticipated to take about six months. But I also said that we would certainly stay there as long as required. It could very well go beyond that. The initial estimate is about six months.


Q: This is sort of random, but is there a plan to quarantine them afterwards before bringing them back to wherever they're coming from?


REAR ADM. KIRBY: Well, we're going to be, obviously, monitoring their health throughout their mission. I think we'll have a good sense before they come back, you know, how they're doing.


We'll -- we'll -- as we always do, we take good care of our troops and we'll be monitoring their health throughout the process.


Q: As long as required, is the department committed to staying there in a significant capacity until this outbreak is...


REAR ADM. KIRBY: Yeah, I know you guys love timelines. I'll tell you, we'll be committed to this mission for as long as it's required. And I -- I can't put a date -- I can't put a date certain on that.


Q: What does victory look like in this operation?


REAR ADM. KIRBY: This is -- this -- the success will be measured by the degree to which we are able to support USAID and the State Department, and Liberian officials in particular, in combating this disease. As I said, our job is -- we are very much -- in this case, you know, in the military we have a parlance of supported organization and a supporting organization. We are very much a supporting organization in this.


So, success for us is the degree to which we have adequately supported those whoa re going to be on the front lines of treating patients, and we will do that for as long as required. The initial estimate of how long it will be to do the equipment and setting up the training sites that we talked about is about six months. It could go beyond that. And if it does, we'll be prepared to stay as long as required.


Q: Admiral Kirby, you always have contingency plans, so what is the contingency plan if, unfortunately, any number of troops fall ill to Ebola? Because we have seen that it's been a struggle to get even one or two victims back to the United States on these isolation chambers onboard aircraft. It's a very limited capacity.


So, what's your plan if troops become ill?


REAR ADM. KIRBY: Well, we'll do everything we can to take care of them Barb. There's no question about that. We know that in this -- in this mission as in so many missions around the world, we are in effect deploying them into harm's way. We're aware of that. They are aware of that.


We're going to train. We're going to equip them the best we can. You can never eliminate risk in a military operation. You deal with it. And I -- I can't give you chapter and verse right now. General Williams is setting up his organization right now. And I can tell you that should any of our troops fall ill, we're going to everything we can to make them better, and to get them back to the treatment that they need.


Q: And are troops getting hazard pay on this mission?


REAR ADM. KIRBY: I'll have to get back to you on that.
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:50 AM   #2
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Quote:
US says no Ebola patient contact for troops in Liberia

on September 20, 2014 / in News 2:53 pm

US troops heading to Liberia to help fight the Ebola epidemic will help train health workers but will have no “direct contact” with patients infected with the virus, the Pentagon said Friday.

The 3,000-strong contingent due to deploy to Liberia will be focused on training health workers in the country and setting up facilities to help West African countries tackle the crisis, spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told a news conference.

The troops will carry protective gear but “there’s no intent right now for them to have direct contact with patients,” Kirby said.

The first US military cargo plane arrived in Monrovia on Thursday as part of the US effort to help fight the epidemic, he said, after President Barack Obama this week issued an appeal for urgent international action.

“Right now, the effort does not include US military personnel treating Ebola patients,” Kirby said. “We’re going to be in support of other health care workers that are experts at doing this.”

Kirby said a C-17 aircraft with equipment and seven service members landed on Thursday, with two more cargo planes expected this weekend in Monrovia carrying 45 personnel.

The small team will then set up a headquarters for Major General Darryl Williams, who will oversee the US mission to train local health workers and establish additional medical facilities, he said.

Military engineers are due to build new Ebola treatment centers in affected areas, the Obama administration said this week, while US officials would help recruit medical personnel to work at the units.
http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/09/u...roops-liberia/
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Pentagon Official: US Sends Additional Personnel to Assist in Liberia Ebola Efforts

Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 3:44PM by Camille Bautista

(WASHINGTON) -- Following the arrival of Maj. General Darryl Williams in Liberia, the United States will send two aircraft with 45 personnel this weekend to assist in the country's efforts to combat the Ebola virus outbreak.

Williams arrived with a 12-person assessment team earlier this week to determine the level of aid the U.S. military can provide to the anti-Ebola mission.

The additional workers arriving this weekend will help set up the headquarters for the joint command, which will be spearheaded by the Major General.

On Friday, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby confirmed the two reprogramming requests the Department of Defense has made over the past week that could provide $1 million for Ebola efforts.

U.S. military personnel will not care for the sick individuals, rather, assist in training others. Workers will be provided with personal protective equipment, according to Kirby.

“The mission is to do some training, to build these units and do some logistics, some transports, the movement of material," he said. "It is not to treat...They're not doctors. They're not nurses. They're not trained for that and not equipped for that. That's not part of the mission. So they will be kept in locations where they can do their jobs without coming into contact with patients.”
http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politi...ssist-in.html?
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Old 09-23-2014, 05:58 PM   #4
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I've been scrounging around for any specifics about this operation and this is what I've found so far. As the op gets going, I'll try to continue to find and post more info.

As of today, we have the following in place or on the way:



NatGeo: Ebola Epidemic Could Top a Million Victims If Not Contained, CDC Warns


Quote:
...The CDC has 120 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia—the countries hardest hit by the epidemic—as well as in other nations that are at risk.

U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps to help treat Ebola patients in Liberia
Quote:
A team of specialized officers from the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is being prepared to deploy to manage and staff a previously announced U.S. Department of Defense hospital in Liberia to care for health care workers who become ill from Ebola.

...Sixty-five Commissioned Corps officers, with diverse clinical and public health backgrounds, will travel to Liberia to provide direct patient care to health care workers. In addition to their professional expertise, these officers will undergo further intensive training in Ebola response and advanced infection control...

Army 2-Star General Named to Lead Fight Against Ebola

Quote:
Williams, commander of U.S. Army Africa, arrived in the Liberian capital of Monrovia Tuesday to set up a Joint Force Command as the U.S. assumed the lead role in international efforts...

Most of the 3,000 troops will work out of an Intermediate Staging Base in Senegal to coordinate supply missions while others will join Williams in Monrovia to construct treatment facilities and provide training for health care workers. The troops will not be engaged in direct patient health care, said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

The troop contingent was expected to include Army medics and Navy corpsmen to train health care workers, and Army Corps of Engineers personnel to construct treatment facilities...


Senegal to base U.S. military efforts against Ebola
Quote:
Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters today that the U.S. military will establish a regional intermediate staging base in Senegal as part of the effort to combat Ebola. Many of the 3,000 troops that President Obama is ordering to West Africa will be based there. Others will be deployed to various locations in Liberia.

...The United States and Senegal have been partnered for many years in training military and police. United States Marines and Coast Guard sailors are presently in the country training the Senegalese Companie de Fusilier Marine Commandos, the Senegalese maritime security force.

...Military engineers will be constructing a number of Ebola Treatment Units. The military will also create an educational facility to train up to 500 local health care workers per week to safely provide care to Ebola patients. Two mobile labs are being dispatched to augment the one currently operating in the region.

The Department of Defense remains committed to constructing a 25 bed hospital in Liberia to be used to treat foreign aid workers who contract Ebola...

First Shipment of the Ramped Up U.S. Military Response to Ebola Arrives in Liberia
Quote:
September 19, 2014

A C-17 U.S. military aircraft arrived in Liberia Thursday with the first shipment of increased U.S. military equipment and personnel for the anti-Ebola fight, which was promised by President Barack Obama in a speech September 16 at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.

The cargo included a heavy duty forklift, a drill set and generator and a team of 7 military personnel, including engineers and airfield specialists. The personnel are here to quickly assess the payload and stability of the airport runways. The forklift will be used to offload incoming supplies.

Additional large military aircraft, transporting more personnel and supplies, are expected to arrive in Monrovia in the coming days...

Seabees Deploy to Liberia to Build Ebola Treatment Center
Quote:
Sep 23, 2014

A team of 15 Seabees from Djibouti has deployed to Liberia as part of the U.S. military effort to stem the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The engineering team from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 at Camp Lemonnier will build one of 17 hospitals in Liberia that are central to military efforts, known as Operation United Assistance. The team will conduct site surveys, construct the $22 million hospital and stock it with supplies, according to military officials and a Facebook post by the task force that normally commands the team in Djibouti.

...Members left Djibouti on Friday for the Navy base in Rota, Spain, en route to the Liberian capital of Monrovia. Their deployment follows the arrival last Wednesday of U.S. Army Africa commander Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams and a dozen military planners. Williams is leading the joint operation, which is slated to last six months but may be extended as needed, Pentagon officials have said. Roughly 3,000 U.S. troops are expected to deploy to the country in the coming weeks. A Pentagon spokesman told reporters on Monday that 60 military personnel are already in the country, including Seabees, according to media reports...
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Old 09-24-2014, 08:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
24 SEPTEMBER 2014

Liberia: More Shipments of U.S. Response to Ebola Arrive

A total of three C-17 U.S. military aircraft have so far flown into Liberia with assorted U.S. military equipment and personnel for the anti-Ebola fight.

More than 50 military personnel, including engineers and airfield specialists, have been brought in as part of the advance team.

The cargo includes heavy duty engineering equipment, medical supplies, and other items.

The Commander of the 688th Rapid Port Opening Element, Major Matthew Rivera, says his mission at the airport is to ensure supplies and troops are brought in safely for the smooth execution of their operation.

Additional large military aircraft, transporting more personnel and supplies are expected to arrive in Monrovia in the coming days in fulfillment of the promise made by President Barack Obama in a speech September 16 at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.

Major General Darryl Williams, in his capacity as Commander of U.S. Army Africa and Operation United Assistance, arrived in Liberia last Tuesday.

During the past week, U.S. Ambassador Deborah Malac and Major General Williams have been meeting with senior Liberian government officials to discuss the stepped up U.S. response to the Ebola crisis.
http://allafrica.com/stories/2014092...html?viewall=1
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Old 09-25-2014, 09:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Kerry appoints Nancy Powell as Ebola coordinator

India Today.in New Delhi, September 25, 2014 | UPDATED 08:47 IST

US Secretary of State John Kerry has named Nancy Powell, the former US Ambassador to India, as Ebola coordinator on Wednesday.

In this new role, Powell will lead the State Department's outreach to international partners, including foreign governments, to ensure a speedy and truly global response to this crisis.

Obama had last week declared the Ebola outbreak as a "global threat" which demands "a truly global response."
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/n.../1/392555.html
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Old 09-25-2014, 11:56 AM   #7
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additional info on Nancy Jo Powell the New Ebola Zar
Quote:
(born 1947, Cedar Falls, Iowa) was the United States Ambassador to India.[1] Powell was Director General of the United States Foreign Service, a position she assumed after serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Nepal.[2] Powell is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. Ambassador Powell joined the United States Foreign Service in 1977, and has held assignments in Africa and South Asia.
On 31st March 2014, it was announced that she would be retiring in May 2014, after 37 years of service.[3]
Previous positions

  • United States Ambassador to India, 2012-2014
  • Director General of the United States Foreign Service, 2009-2012
  • Ambassador to Nepal, July 16, 2007 – 2009
  • National Intelligence Officer for South Asia, National Intelligence Council, 2006–2007
  • Senior Coordinator for Avian Influenza and Infectious Diseases, 2006 (?)
  • Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, March 14 – November 25, 2005[4]
  • Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs, November 2004 – March 2005
  • Ambassador to Pakistan, August 9, 2002 – October 2004
  • Ambassador to Ghana, August 14, 2001 – May 2002
  • Acting Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, January 2001 – June 2001
  • Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, July 1999 – January 2001
  • Ambassador to Uganda, 1997–1999
  • Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1995–1997
  • Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India, 1993–1995
  • Consul General in Calcutta, India, 1992–1993
  • Deputy Chief of Mission in Lome, Togo, 1990–1992
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Old 09-25-2014, 12:06 PM   #8
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Just interjecting this here as it will likely have an effect on western aid interventions:

Quote:
The Liberian Daily Observer, which is the largest newspaper in Liberia, just published an article on their front page with the headline, “Ebola, AIDS Manufactured By Western Pharmaceuticals, US DoD?” The article accuses the US of manufacturing the Ebola outbreak in a scheme to use Africa as a testing ground for bioweapons.
http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014...a-virus-video/
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Old 09-25-2014, 12:19 PM   #9
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They are walking into a shitstorm. They must have weapons and authorization to blast the Hell out of any Villagers that try to kill them. And don't you just think that that Boko Harem (or whatever name they are), already had bus tickets or shanty cart rides lined up to get down there to kidnap some choice unarmed Green Berets? With the headline above stoking the populace - it will be a very dangerous place indeed.

They must have the capability and authorization to defend themselves!

I just see a shitstorm.
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sonny View Post
additional info on Nancy Jo Powell the New Ebola Zar
A nice smattering of experiences that will benefit her. I certainly do not envy anyone who gets handed this steaming pile.
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Old 09-25-2014, 04:42 PM   #11
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More excerpts from Laurie Garrett's latest piece. These deal with some specifics about what the US is doing. Some of it old news but she does note a few things which I haven't seen elsewhere. One of the specific things that caught my eye is that the 25 bed hospital being built to treat HCW's will be staffed by the 65 uniformed Public Health Officers being sent to Liberia. This is the first, and only, mention that I've seen of the fact that US government employees WILL be working on direct patient care.



Can the U.S. Army degrade and destroy Ebola?


Quote:
Laurie Garrett, Foreign Policy | September 22, 2014

...On Sept. 10, I participated in a briefing on Ebola for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the request of Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey. It was clear to me that Dempsey embraced the challenge of tackling Ebola, and recognized that the virus's spread signaled the need for a swift response. But many issues now require rapid U.S. military reactions, not the least of which is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the Middle East. Dempsey and the Joint Chiefs were struck by the unprecedented appeal for U.S. military engagement delivered by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Doctors Without Borders (also known by its French acronym, MSF). Never before had the typically pacifist, neutral humanitarian organization asked for military assistance, but the Ebola epidemic has exhausted MSF's capacities, and compelled radical policies.

I provided the Joint Chiefs with a seven-page strategic plan for military action to fight the epidemic, and learned a great deal regarding the potentials and limitations of U.S. capabilities. I likened the scale of need to that of the American military response in Aceh, which featured more than 12,000 uniformed personnel working in immediate disaster relief and longer-term reconstruction of the devastated region. While Operation United Assistance does not embrace all of the details or scale I proposed, it is a bold leap. With the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in the lead, the effort will combine civilian and military components, as follows:
  • The U.S. Africa Command (Africom), will deploy Maj. Gen. Darryl A. Williams to Monrovia, Liberia, where he will lead a team establishing a command center for all military response, working alongside USAID and the United Nations. All of these responders will, of course, toil at the behest and permission of the government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
  • The key elements of military response will focus on logistics, supplies, engineering, support for the Accra, Ghana, "air bridge" for transport of supplies and personnel to the epidemic, and the construction of at least 17 new hospital facilities designated for Ebola care.
  • The military will also build a training facility, which will rapidly teach infection control and self-protection procedures to hundreds of local and foreign health workers. The military hopes to process up to 500 health workers, both civilians and humanitarian responders, in a week.
  • Though the White House states that up to 3,000 military personnel will be engaged in these activities, the Pentagon tells me no estimate of the scale of operations can be known until Maj. Gen. Williams and his team complete a needs survey in Liberia.
  • The civilian side of the operation will feature further expansion of CDC deployment of epidemiologists and laboratory workers, primarily in Liberia.
  • The U.S. Public Health Service will provide medical staff for a Department of Defense-built 25-bed hospital in Monrovia. And USAID, partially with the financial support of Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen, will make and distribute 400,000 home care kits to Liberia, to be used by families to tend safely to ailing loved ones.
When I addressed the Joint Chiefs, I stressed the need for speed, and was surprised to learn how long it takes to mobilize such things as makeshift hospitals and the delivery of protective suits. None of these efforts will be accomplished during the month of September, and few will be operational before the end of October. This time frame is not a matter of foot-dragging or a reflection of complacency — on the contrary, Gen. Dempsey has ordered maximum haste. But things take time.

I feel that time is running out. Unless Obama's announcement can somehow include immediate measures that lead to long-scale escalations in supplies, logistics support, air shipments, and personnel on the group in West Africa, I fear dire consequences by Christmas. The need for speed is true not only of the U.S. government's efforts, but of those promised by the United Kingdom, China, Cuba, France, and every other nation that has announced some form of assistance...
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Old 09-26-2014, 09:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flourbug View Post
Just interjecting this here as it will likely have an effect on western aid interventions:



http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014...a-virus-video/
Some additional info.

Quote:
And now, in what may plant further seeds of mistrust and suspicion, a major Liberian newspaper, the Daily Observer, has published an article by a Liberian-born faculty member of a U.S. university implying the epidemic is the result of bioterrorism experiments conducted by the United States Department of Defense, among others.

And while some commenting on the article were critical, the number who praised it was telling. “They are using” Ebola, wrote one, “for culling the world population mainly Africa for the…purpose of gaining control of the Africans resources criminally.”

The piece purports to describe scientific findings from various “reports,” which are not cited in detail, and even references the bestselling thriller, “The Hot Zone.”

“Reports narrate stories of the US Department of Defense (DoD) funding Ebola trials on humans, trials which started just weeks before the Ebola outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone,” wrote Delaware State University associate professor Cyril Broderick.

Under the headline, “Ebola, AIDS Manufactured by Western Pharmaceuticals, US DoD?”, it says: “the U.S., Canada, France, and the U.K. are all implicated in the detestable and devilish deeds that these Ebola tests are. There is a need to pursue criminal and civil redress for damages.”


Worse, in the same breath, the semi-intelligible article suggests groups trying to stop the epidemic — Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders — are all somehow in on it. The piece puts them on a list of those “implicated in selecting and enticing African countries to participate in the testing events.”

Broderick, who is listed as an associate professor in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Delaware State University, defended his article in a brief interview with The Washington Post. “There are many references to what was contained in my letter,” he said. “You may read the letter and double-check the sources listed. They are available and legitimate.”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/m...eak/?tid=hp_mm


The author is a professor at the Delaware State University.
http://www.desu.edu/sites/default/files/cbroderick.pdf

This is the actual "paper". Forgive me if I don't list it on the Research thread.

http://www.liberianobserver.com/secu...uticals-us-dod
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Old 09-27-2014, 02:48 PM   #13
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This article contains one of the few references I've seen about US personnel using PPE, even though most won't be delivering direct patient care.


Airmen deploy to deliver Ebola treatment facility with U.S. relief package

Quote:
JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. -- U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 633rd Medical Group from Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, partnered with representatives from the U.S. Public Health Service to deliver a modular medical treatment center, Sept. 26, as part of a government-wide effort to support humanitarian relief operations in Ebola-stricken African nations.

Airmen from the 633rd Medical Group accompanied the Expeditionary Medical Support System, or EMEDS, to Africa. And while they will not be involved in treatment of patients exposed to the virus, they will be supporting the overall effort by setting up the facility and training international healthcare workers.

In early September, the Department of Defense approved the Department of State request for a 25-bed deployable hospital facility, equipment and personnel required to set up the facility. The Air Force's Expeditionary Medical Support System fulfilled that request, meaning Operation United Assistance -- the designation for Ebola Relief missions -- receives the largest version of the EMEDS facility. The facility can treat a population at risk of up to 6,500.

"Over the past week or so, 633rd MDG Airmen have worked in tandem with representatives from the U.S. Public Health Service as part of a multi-agency effort," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Christopher Dun, Chief, Expeditionary Medical Operations Division Office of the Command Surgeon HQ Air Combat Command. "From the scale of response, this is a national effort. Experts from across the country are working together to bring meaningful relief to those stricken by this terrible disease."

As part of the joint effort from multiple government agencies, Airmen will set the stage for further mission success by standing up the EMEDS and training public health professionals on the proper use of the extensive tools available to them.

"The most important thing is the Airmen setting up and training the [international health workers] on the equipment and how it works," said Brig. Gen. Sean Lee Murphy, ACC surgeon general. He noted that while the Airmen will not be doing patient care, they will still be using all of the force health protection as a precaution and will still be playing an important role in the humanitarian mission. This particular opportunity to help on the other side of the world is a bit unique.

"We are potentially setting a precedent because the EMEDS unit is typically set up for things like trauma care," said Rear Adm. Scott Giberson, the acting deputy surgeon general for the U.S. Department of Public Health Service.

"[Instead] we will be using it for an infectious pathogen and treatment of international health care workers."
According to Giberson, the Air Force's EMEDS is one of the greatest assets to have in this situation.

The U.S. Public Health Service Commission Corps is partnering with all the DoD.

"DoD Army in Africa, AFRICOM, will be supporting us with some of the logistics and things like that, but the Air Force has the piece of delivering the facility for us and the expertise of setting up the facility and training us on the facility," said Giberson. So, we need that piece of the puzzle to complete the successful mission."
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Old 09-27-2014, 03:34 PM   #14
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In Laurie Garrett's latest article, (excerpt posted above), she says:

Quote:
When I addressed the Joint Chiefs, I stressed the need for speed, and was surprised to learn how long it takes to mobilize such things as makeshift hospitals and the delivery of protective suits. None of these efforts will be accomplished during the month of September, and few will be operational before the end of October. This time frame is not a matter of foot-dragging or a reflection of complacency — on the contrary, Gen. Dempsey has ordered maximum haste. But things take time.
One of the reasons that I'm trying to find and post specific info about what the U.S. is doing is because I suspect that most people are like Laurie Garrett - they don't realize just how much time an operation of this complexity is going to take to really get going. Because of that lack of knowledge, I wouldn't be at all surprised to start seeing reports in the next few weeks that the U.S. is "dragging its feet" or other similar accusations.

I'm hoping that by posting info here, we might help to inform people (Hello Guest Readers!) that the U.S. is indeed responding, but is doing so with deliberate haste.


Liberia receives additional US military personnel, supplies for anti-Ebola war

Quote:
September 25, 2014

Another C-17 aircraft carrying 39 US military personnel and equipment have arrived in Liberia as part of efforts to help in the anti-Ebola fight in West Africa.

The 39 military personnel including 15 US Navy SeaBees and 24 Operation United Assistance (OUA) Headquarters personnel arrived in Liberia on Tuesday, according to a US embassy release issued here Thursday.

The SeaBees make up the US Navy Construction Battalion.

The SeaBees will be conducting site assessments and providing mentorship for the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) construction teams, which will be charged with building additional Ebola Treatment Units (ETU). Discussions are underway on the sites for ETUs and how many will be built.

The release said the C-17 US military aircraft also brought in a tactical truck, a tent system and three pallets of medical supplies.

A total of four C-17 US military aircraft have so far flown into Liberia with US military equipment and personnel for the anti-Ebola fight.

Over the weekend, another two aircraft landed at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) with military personnel, including engineers and airfield specialists, which are part of the advance team.

According to the release, additional large military aircraft transporting more personnel and supplies are expected to arrive in Monrovia in the coming days.

As an added note - Roberts International Airport (RIA) is about 35 miles from Monrovia. It has one runway about 11,000 (3,400 m) long. It has 2 fuel storage facilities; one of which was built by the U.S. DoD in the 1980's and is currently not in use. It has 1 forklift and 1 tug vehicle. As of right now, security for the airport is provided by UN troops. (Source: Logistics Cluster: LBR - Roberts International Airport - Description )

Based on the above info, it's not surprising that the first U.S. cargo flight included a forklift and generator. It also sounds like the U.S. may have to bring in additional equipment to handle the increased air traffic which Operation United Assistance is going to create.
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Old 09-28-2014, 02:22 PM   #15
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This is one of the few comments that I've seen that even vaguely addresses whether incoming U.S. military forces will be armed.

US bases Ebola mission in Liberia's defence ministry
Quote:
The United States said on Thursday its mission of 3,000 soldiers helping west Africa's beleaguered health services battle the Ebola outbreak would be based in Liberia's defence ministry but would be purely humanitarian.

The contingent will be focused on training local health workers and setting up facilities to help Liberia and its neighbours halt the spread of the epidemic, which has left almost 3,000 dead across the region.

General Darryl Williams told a news conference in Monrovia the mission, based at the Liberian Ministry of Defence, would be purely "humanitarian" and was not in the country to bolster its fragile security forces.

...Williams said his troops "have the ability to defend ourselves" in case of any outbreak of violence, but added that his initial assessment was that the threat was "relatively low".
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Old 09-28-2014, 06:58 PM   #16
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Yes, I have been doing my best to ignore all of this, this weekend. I did note this thread, wanting very much to carefully read through it... which I'm about to do now.
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Old 09-28-2014, 08:29 PM   #17
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Here's some more of America's "militarised humanitarianism".

BATTERY CREEK HIGH SCHOOL
Class Notes, Sept. 29


Quote:
Helping Hands

---The school, the Wellness Team and the HOSA Club are collecting items for Project HOPE, which works to provide health care equipment and supplies to promote overall wellness and improve the level of care given to Ebola patients. Items needed include liquid antibacterial soap, paper towels, toothpaste, toilet paper, toothbrushes, washcloths, wet wipes, towels, hand sanitizer, clear plastic shower curtains, crutches and hospital gowns. Items will be accepted in the front office through Dec. 1.
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:24 AM   #18
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The U.S. troops have arrived in the Ebola epidemic zone, and they’re not carrying guns. Instead, clipped to the belt loops of their military uniforms are tiny plastic bottles of hand sanitizer.

The soldiers grinned sheepishly as they lifted their shirts to show the personal hygiene bottles on their belts, designed to help protect them from the Ebola virus. But some admitted that their families are just as worried about the dangers of their deployment in the Ebola zone as they were about the risks of their earlier stints in the shooting wars of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Several dozen U.S. troops have arrived at Roberts International Airport, just outside Liberia’s capital, Monrovia. They are the vanguard of the Pentagon’s planned deployment of 3,000 troops in West Africa to fight the Ebola outbreak.

On Saturday, four U.S. naval engineers began the first phase of construction of a 25-bed field hospital for health workers in Liberia who catch the Ebola virus. A heavy grader was smoothing the damp weedy soil at an empty field near the international airport as the project was launched.
...

Humanitarian duties have become a bigger part of the mandate of the U.S. military in recent years, including deployments in Haiti after the devastating earthquake of 2010 and in Indonesia and Thailand after the 2004 tsunami.

"We’re excited, we were actually thrilled to be chosen to come here and help out a country that’s in need, in big need, especially with this Ebola virus going on,” said Petty Officer Richard Brown, a member of the “Seabees” – the U.S. Navy Construction Battalion.

A U.S. military spokesman, Major Jason Brown, said there is no fixed date for finishing the constructio, partly because the heavy downpours of the Liberian rainy season could be an obstacle.

“We’re moving faster than I’ve ever seen the military move on anything before,” he said. “We’re already breaking ground on a construction project when we had nothing here before.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...ticle20822003/

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Old 09-29-2014, 02:31 PM   #19
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I think the following articles are related to the one Sonny posted.


Liberia: American Hospital for Health Workers
Quote:
The Joint Force Command of the Operation United Assistance has broken grounds in Margibi County for the construction of a 25 bed hospital for healthcare workers who are helping to save the lives of Ebola patients.

The hospital, which will be constructed shortly specifically for treatment and special care for healthcare workers who may come in contact with the Ebola virus while treating sick people in the country.

Speaking over the weekend during the ground breaking ceremony in Margibi County, the Spokesperson of the Joint Force Command of the Operation United Assistance Major Jason Brown said the hospital construction is in line with the United States Government's effort to help the government and people of Liberia respond to the Ebola virus.

Major Brown said the Joint Force Command of the Operation United Assistance hopes that the hospital would be built as soon as possible to ensure that healthcare workers are catered for in time of need.

The hospital, according to Major Brown, will be fully equipped with modern equipment to ensure that health workers are in the better position to care for sick people...

Liberia: U.S. Ebola Mobile Clinic - Air Bridge Getting Into Shape

Quote:
The United States military has already begun to show footprints in the sand in Liberia. On Saturday, the United States Embassy organized a tour guide of the facility under construction by the Operation United Assistance of the US army.

During the tour Major Jason Brown, Joint Task Force Command Operation United Assistance, showed journalists around and explained the groundbreaking for the building of the 25-bed mobile clinic for health-workers who are afflicted by the deadly Ebola virus.

"This is the area that was selected and approved by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for the 25-bed hospital for the health workers. As you can see, today we are actually breaking ground for the construction and construction is beginning," said Maj. Brown, who is the public Affairs Officer for the Joint Task Force Command, Operation United Assistance.

"We are hoping to get it up and running very soon. We have planes landing every single day bringing in more and more materials. We looked at a number of sites and we selected the best site... and the president approved it."

...He said local contractors and members of the Armed Forces of Liberia will also lend assistance to the construction of Ebola treatment Units expected to be constructed using American tax payers' money in Liberia. "We are using local contractors in some of our efforts, we're also going to have US forces involved in some of the construction efforts," he said.

"We are partnering with the Armed Forces of Liberia, to do some of the construction themselves.
We have folks all throughout Liberia right now checking out other sites for some of the other construction projects.

...The US Air Bridge will accelerate the movement of cargo out of the airport. Col. Brad Johnson Joint Task Force Port Opening Commander said the runway at the RIA is old and therefore some challenges with it. He said the airport is going to see more traffic more than it has seen in a while as the Ebola aid comes in. Col. Johnson said Malaria is a challenge in the area and they will do everything possible to help soldiers stay safe.

Airmen deliver Ebola treatment facility to West Africa
Quote:
Airmen from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, partnered with representatives from the U.S. Public Health Service Sept. 26, to deliver a modular medical treatment center, as part of a government-wide effort to support humanitarian relief operations in Ebola-stricken African nations.

Airmen from the 633rd Medical Group accompanied the Expeditionary Medical Support System, or EMEDS, to Africa. And while they will not be involved in treatment of patients exposed to the virus, they will be supporting the overall effort by setting up the facility and training international healthcare workers.

In early September, the Defense Department approved the State Department’s request for a 25-bed deployable hospital facility, equipment and personnel required to set up the facility. The Air Force's Expeditionary Medical Support System fulfilled the request, meaning Operation United Assistance -- the designation for Ebola relief missions -- receives the largest version of the EMEDS facility. The facility can treat a population at risk of up to 6,500...

So, putting this all together, it seems likely that the 25 bed EMEDS facility to treat infected HCW's will be located in Margibi County, which is a short distance to the east of Monrovia.

This is an EMEDS:




An EMEDS is designed to provide medical care in austere conditions and comes in several configurations, ranging from very basic (SPEARR) to a mini-hospital (EMEDS +25), which is what was delivered to Liberia. The following gives a sense of what services the EMEDS+25 can provide. (Source: http://www.arng.army.mil/SiteCollect...eets/EMEDS.pdf)

Quote:
Elements
Small Portable Expeditionary
Aerospace Rapid Response
(SPEARR)


The SPEARR is the initial
equipment and personnel set of the
EMEDS construct

Brings medical equipment, supplies,
a tent and 12 medical personnel to
perform life-saving operations to
include patient stabilization and
surgical procedures and can treat a
population at risk (PAR) of up to
500 personnel


EMEDS Basic

Brings additional medical equipment
and supplies, and builds to a total of
three tents

Maintains 26 medical personnel

Ability to care for a PAR of 500-
2,000 personnel

In addition to surgical care, provides
primary medical care and has four
holding beds that rely on
aeromedical evacuation to transport
the patient to more definitive
medical care facilities


EMEDS + 10

Builds to a total of six tents

Maintains 56 personnel

Ability to care for a PAR of 2,000-
3,000 personnel

Ability to care for ten medical or
surgical patients for an extended
period of time

Ancillary services include
laboratory, radiology, pharmacy,
and dental


EMEDS + 25

Builds to a total of nine tents, a staff
of 84, and cares for a PAR of 3,000-
5,000. Adds ancillary physical
therapy. An EMEDS+25 package
can care for a mix of 25 surgical and
medical inpatients
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Old 09-29-2014, 02:44 PM   #20
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Quote:
Rains complicate delivery of Ebola supplies in West Africa

BY STELLA DAWSON
Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:50pm EDT


WASHINGTON, Sept 29 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The rainy season in West Africa is compounding difficulties in getting supplies delivered and new treatment centres built as donors rush to isolate people infected with the deadly Ebola virus and stop its rapid spread, U.S. officials said.

Nancy Powell, newly appointed as the U.S. State Department's envoy to coordinate its Ebola response, said the top priority is to isolate as many people as quickly as possible. But that faces significant logistical hurdles.

"Infrastructure challenges in the rainy season is one of the biggest difficulties. And you add the rain and getting materials out of the capital and it is very difficult," Powell said in a news briefing last week.

The July to September rainy season is coming toward its end, but October is known for heavy thunderstorms that can drench the region and turn roads to mud.

Eric Talbert, executive director of Emergency USA which has opened a 22-bed Ebola treatment centre in Goderich, outside the capital of Freetown in Sierra Leone, said the downpours complicate getting supplies along unpaved roads.

"We are talking about dirt roads that are single track. The rains wash them out... Rains are not only going to escalate the logistical difficulties, but Ebola will spread if we cannot reach people and treat them," Talbert told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/...140929?rpc=401
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:13 PM   #21
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I likes my armed forces to be 'firm, fair & friendly'. In this specific instance, there has got to be a heavy emphasis on the 'firm'. I'm all for using local contractors/labour when appropriate. I'm also all for frisking them when they leave the work area at the end of the shir shift, limiting their access to any/all stock. In short - not willing to trust them worth a damn. No, I'm not expressing a deeply hidden until now, racism. This is a country where people do what they can to get by, including grabbing what they can where they can to seel in the markets.

I want the troops armed with hand guns as well as hand sainitzer - automatic rifles would be better. I want ROE that will protect your troops WHEN they are threatened in some way.

Let's face it, the runway will have to be fixed, maybe a duplicate built. The road to Monrovia will need serious work - the most basic basics have to be done & 'backfilled' properly as troops, supplies & mobile hospitals march forward. Liberians complaining about help 'not coming fast enough'? They can get together & start doing what they can to clear the way, help local families move their shelters if those shelters might impede a better road.

The American people coming in to help need reasonable & safe quarters including lots of bleaching stations. An entire combat service support infrastructure has to move in at the same time & be built up before there are too many people on the ground - no sense people showing up in an already risky situation & facing the added risks of biological lack of safety - any more than can be avoided anyway!

This is a complex situation, to put it mildly. I don't want Liberians thinking American troops are horrible people out to screw them over in every sense of the word. More importantly, I don't want them thinking this is a free ride, or a fast & easy one. The US is ponying up big time here - there is a hell of a lot on their part Liberia can do to help the two ends meet in the middle more quickly & in such a way as to save as many lives as possible.
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Old 09-29-2014, 05:21 PM   #22
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Quote:
Let's face it, the runway will have to be fixed, maybe a duplicate built. The road to Monrovia will need serious work - the most basic basics have to be done & 'backfilled' properly as troops, supplies & mobile hospitals march forward. Liberians complaining about help 'not coming fast enough'?
I don't think they or most other folks understand the main reason why our troops are there. They are there to do the number one most important thing that has to be done right now: establish the infrastructure needed to get health workers and supplies in and out of the infected zones. Field hospitals are a secondary objective. Our guys are the best in the world at logistics. Seriously, I don't think anyone would dispute this. One of the main reasons the U.S. military is top dog is because of their ability to move thousands of people and thousands of tons of materiel in and out of places in a hurry. They are really, really freaking good at it. Here, the practical difficulties are so extensive that even the U.S. military has a long lead time. That is how bad it is.
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Old 09-29-2014, 05:26 PM   #23
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I consider their estimated timeline for what they propose doing miraculous; I sincerely do. On top of that - you KNOW they`re going to run into unexpected problems & they will STILL meet their timelines.

I`m not worried about your men & women doing their jobs. They will do them professionally - thoroughly & effectively. They will find solutions to problems no one knows exists yet & those solutions will be 'legantly simple' while effective. Their ability to improvise is unmatched.

No, I don't worry one bit about them being able to do the JOB they need to do. I worry about their ability to do it safely & with as few stupid roadblocks as possible.
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Old 09-29-2014, 06:31 PM   #24
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U.S. military to quickly ramp up Ebola mission in Liberia
Quote:
The United States plans to quickly increase its presence in Liberia, where military personnel are deploying to help the West African nation halt the advance of the worst Ebola epidemic on record, the general in charge of the mission said on Monday.

..."This is about urgency and speed. So what you're going to see here pretty soon is forces flown here," Major General Darryl Williams told journalists in the capital, Monrovia.

"I have 175 soldiers and I have another 30 that are in other countries that are beginning to set up the logistics hub to fly forces in here," he said.

Williams said the U.S. mission was planning to build and supply 17 Ebola treatment units across the country but added that Liberian authorities would still be leading the effort.

"The (Armed Forces of Liberia) has a great capability. They are already out there ... and helping us, because they have this knowledge of the local area. So we are not doing anything by ourselves," he said.

...The U.S. embassy in Morovia said on Monday that work to build a 25-bed unit to treat infected health workers, international and Liberian, had begun in Margibi Country in central Liberia. Construction is due to be completed in a few weeks.

"It is intended to provide a high standard of care, so that when they put themselves at risk they have someplace they can go to be treated," said Deborah Malac, U.S. ambassador to Liberia. "We will be sending approximately 65 medical personnel to staff that hospital."

I think getting this first facility built is going to provide the learning curve needed for U.S. planners to move forward on the other hospitals. If they get this one up and staffed within a few weeks, the others will probably be built even more quickly. I'm just not sure that there will be sufficient TRAINED staff ready to staff them in time.

I guess we'll find out in a few weeks.
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:26 AM   #25
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Quote:
Liberia: Combative Measures - CDC Team Conducts Training for RIA Staff

30 SEPTEMBER 2014
By Henry Karmo

Monrovia — The Centers for Disease Control team in Liberia has completed a training session on measures to combat Ebola with staffers of the Roberts International Airport (RIA) where certificates were presented to eleven staff members of the airport.

The training covered key areas including the use of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Implementation of Primary and Secondary Exit Screening and the complementation of the Ebola Recognize, Isolate, Notify, Give, Support (RING) Model Training.

The Team comprising Dr. Douglas H. Esposito, a Medical Epidemiologist and Vanessa C. Jew, an Epidemiology Quarantine Public Health Officer of the CDC pointed out that the Management of RIA has embraced every effort aimed at keeping the airport safe in the on-going fight against the Ebola Virus, describing the effort as commendable.
http://allafrica.com/stories/201409301229.html?
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