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Spokesman: No DoD Decision on Monitoring Returning Troops

By Jim Garamone DoD News, Defense Media Activity

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WASHINGTON, October 28, 2014 — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has not made a decision on a Joint Chiefs of Staff recommendation for how to handle troops returning from areas affected by Ebola in West Africa, a Pentagon spokesman said today.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey and the rest of the chiefs have recommended “a regimented program of 21 days of controlled, supervised monitoring for all troops returning from Ebola response efforts in West Africa,” Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said during a news conference.

Hagel has the recommendation, Kirby said, but has made no decision. “The secretary shares the concerns by the chiefs about the safety and well-being not only of our troops, but also of their families,” he added, “and he appreciates the thoughtfulness and the gravity of the recommendations Chairman Dempsey sent to him.”

When the secretary makes a decision, Kirby said, he will announce it.

In the meantime, he added, Hagel supports the decision made by Army leadership to place Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams and his team from U.S. Army Africa under the same “quarantine-like” program.

The secretary received the recommendation today, Kirby said. “I don't have any specifics for you on how that would work,” the admiral said, noting that a lot of work remains to be done should the secretary decide to implement it throughout the Defense Department.

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)