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DoD Releases Breakdown of Ebola Response Effort

By Claudette Roulo DoD News, Defense Media Activity

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2015 — The Defense Department today released a breakdown of the numbers of DoD personnel involved in the battle to stop the spread of Ebola.

The efforts, led by the U.S. Agency for International Development, involve 2,367 DoD personnel, said Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren. Most of those personnel -- 2,174 -- are based in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital city. The remaining 193 personnel are Marine Corps members and port operations personnel operating in Dakar, Senegal.

U.S. military personnel are not involved in treating patients with Ebola, defense officials have said. Their role in the fight is to provide logistical support and training for health care workers, to test medical samples and to construct Ebola treatment units. Since training began Oct. 27, the 40-person Army and Air Force team has trained 1,539 health care workers.

Personnel breakdown by area:

-- Liberia: Army – 1,829, Air Force – 48, Navy – 31, Marine Corps – 1, contractors – 166, civilians – 23;

-- Senegal: Army – 86, Air Force – 90, contractors – 13, civilians – 4.

Medical Treatment Facilities

The department’s efforts in Liberia also include a 25-bed hospital in Monrovia and 10 Ebola treatment units located throughout the country. Construction of all but two of the Ebola treatment units is now complete, Warren said. Initially, the treatment units were all intended to have capacities of 100 patients each, but as conditions on the ground changed, the final seven units were built to hold 50 patients each.

Since opening on Nov. 7, the hospital -- known as Monrovian Medical Unit and located near Roberts International Airport -- has treated 14 patients and is currently treating one, Warren said. The hospital is staffed by U.S. Public Health Service personnel and is intended to treat medical personnel exposed to the Ebola virus.

In addition to the hospital, a mobile lab began operating in Greenville, Liberia, Dec. 25, bringing the total number of mobile labs in Liberia to six.

Controlled Monitoring Program Review

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel earlier approved an extension of a review of the 45-day monitoring plan for personnel who have traveled to Ebola-affected areas, Warren said. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other senior military leaders wanted to examine two complete controlled monitoring cycles before producing a comprehensive review of the program, the colonel said. A report of their findings is due to the defense secretary by Jan. 30, he added.

About 450 personnel are undergoing controlled monitoring at four bases in the United States and one in Germany.

-- Baumholder, Germany: 6 personnel, monitoring period ends Jan. 5;

-- Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington: About 100 personnel, arrived Jan. 1;

-- Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia: About 100 personnel, arrived Jan. 1;

-- Fort Hood, Texas: About 87 personnel, arrived Jan. 4;

-- Fort Bliss, Texas: About 163 personnel, arrived Jan. 4.

Ebola Response Costs

As of Jan. 5, DoD has contributed $384.9 million to the Ebola response efforts. Operation United Assistance -- the military’s logistical, training and engineering effort -- totals $312.3 million, cooperative threat reduction measures -- biosurveillance and biosecurity -- total $47 million, and research and development -- vaccine research -- totals $25.6 million.

(Follow Claudette Roulo on Twitter: @roulododnews)