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Air Force Medical Trainers Arrive in Monrovia

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr. DoD News, Defense Media Activity

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WASHINGTON, October 29, 2014 — A team of Air Force medical trainers has arrived in Monrovia, Liberia, to train non-U.S. medical personnel as part of Operation United Assistance, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said today.

In a meeting with reporters at the Pentagon, Warren discussed the team’s arrival as well as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s validation of a 21-day controlled monitoring period for troops returning from western Africa.

The 20-member team will conduct the training at the National Police Training Center in Monrovia, the colonel told reporters.

“Currently, 79 non-U.S. medical personnel are training with our 20-person Air Force training team on station,” Warren said, adding that 1,104 U.S. military personnel are conducting various activities in support of the joint force command in the United Assistance area of operations.

Controlled monitoring period

Warren also discussed Hagel’s decision today to validate the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s recommendation to implement a 21-day controlled monitoring period for service members from all military branches returning from western Africa.

Warren said 42 personnel now are undergoing controlled monitoring in Vicenza, Italy.

Hagel’s order directs the Joint Chiefs to develop within 15 days for his review a detailed implementation plan for how the policy will be applied, Warren said. “The operational planning -- what the secretary has asked for -- is to be able to fully understand the logistics behind how we’re going to implement this 21-day controlled monitoring across the force,” he added.

It is also important to note, Warren said, that the defense secretary and Joint Chiefs will examine the 21-day controlled monitoring program for modification as necessary. The Joint Chiefs will review the program as it plays out over the next 45 days.

“We’ll continuously look at it,” he said, “and if adjustments need to be made, we can make them.” Warren added that to his knowledge, no service member has demonstrated any symptom of Ebola.

(Follow Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone Marshall on Twitter: @MarshallDoDNews)