Hagel calls up 2,100 from reserve, National Guard for Ebola fight
WASHINGTON — Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has authorized the mobilization of roughly 2,100 troops from the Army Reserve and National Guard to deploy to Africa to aid in relief efforts to stem the Ebola outbreak.
Army officials were in the process of notifying soldiers and their families Friday, according to Rear Adm. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman. Hagel signed the authorization Thursday night.
The troops, who will replace forces in Liberia and Senegal as part of Operation United Assistance, will receive training in Ebola prevention and medical readiness before deploying.
Some 2,200 U.S. troops are now deployed to Liberia to help build treatment facilities, train health-care workers and provide testing services to identify those who are infected.
About 80 U.S. troops who returned Thursday from Africa will be quarantined for 21 days at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia. None was exhibiting symptoms of the deadly virus.
The World Health Organization reported this week that Ebola has killed more than 5,000 people in Africa and sickened an additional 14,000.