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United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

DoD Helps Fight
EBOLA in Liberia

and West Africa

In support of the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Defense Department made critical contributions to the fight against the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa. Chief among these were the deployment of men and women in uniform to Monrovia, Liberia, as part of Operation United Assistance.

Operation United Assistance at a Glance

Health Care Training

Infographic #1

Ebola Treatment Units/Monrovian Medical Unit

Infographic #2

Mobile Labs & Personal Protective Equipment

Infographic #3

DoD Ebola-Related Costs

Infographic #5

Transition to Operation Onward Liberty

Infographic #6

U.S. Response to Ebola in West Africa

Map of West Africa indicating the number of Ebola cases and their areas.

USAID/CDC Map. Download Hi-res

48th CBRN Brigade Soldiers Prepare for Liberia Deployment

The 48th Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Brigade's headquarters will deploy to Liberia to command the reminding American forces supporting the U.S. effort to help contain the worst Ebola outbreak in history. Story

Liberia's President Thanks Obama, Carter for Ebola Aid

President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Ash Carter spoke in separate meetings with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who said she came to the United States to thank the U.S. government and the American people for helping Liberia fight the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Story

U.S. Added Speed, Scale to West Africa Ebola Fight

Since Sept. 2014, when U.S. Army Africa leadership arrived in Liberia to help contain the historic outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, the United States is transitioning its contributions to civilian and nongovernmental organizations there as the World Health Organization reports a drop in confirmed cases. Story

101st Airborne Departs Liberia After Successful Mission

101st Airborne Departs Liberia, Marks End of Operation United Assistance The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) cased its colors during a ceremony yesterday at the Barclay Training Center here, marking the end of Operation United Assistance for the Joint Forces Command - United Assistance Story

Most DoD Personnel to Return From West Africa

Most Defense Department personnel who deployed to West Africa to support then fight against Ebola already have returned to their home stations, and nearly all will return home over the next two months, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said. Story

DoD Releases Breakdown of Ebola Response Effort

The Defense Department released a breakdown of the numbers of DoD personnel involved in the battle to stop the spread of Ebola. Story

Troops Maintain Personal Health Practices in Liberia

Service members deployed under Joint Forces Command - United Assistance in Monrovia, Liberia, constantly take steps to stay healthy and maintain personal health practice requirements. Story

DoD Scientists Work Globally to Improve Disease Diagnostics

Defense Department scientists are working around the world to improve disease diagnostics with many supporting the U.S. Ebola response in West Africa. Story

Army Scientist Uses Diagnostic Tools to Track Viruses

An Army virologist using diagnostic tools found traces of Ebola virus in patient samples in West Africa, seven years before the largest, deadliest Ebola outbreak took the world by surprise in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Story

Medical Countermeasures Help Ebola Crisis

Since 2003, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency has invested more than $300 million to develop medical countermeasures against hemorrhagic fever viruses, and those efforts are paying off today in potential new ways to fight Ebola virus disease. Story

DoD Threat Reduction Agency Builds Anti-Ebola Capacity

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency began ramping up its response early in the Ebola outbreak and now, with many partners, is steadily building capabilities in Liberia as it extends capacity into Sierra Leone and Mali. Story

Transcom Develops Ebola Evacuation System

U.S. Transportation Command has developed a module-system capability to evacuate patients with infectious diseases such as Ebola, Transcom's commander said. Story

Rodriguez: Significant Progress Made in Fight Against Ebola

The top U.S. military commander for Africa said that thousands of U.S. troops deployed to West Africa to help stop the spread of the deadly disease could soon shift their focus to other countries if needed or begin to come home. Story

Agency Offers Public Geospatial Intel to Help Fight Ebola

In a contribution to the Defense Department’s fight against West Africa’s deadly Ebola virus disease outbreak, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has launched its first public website of unclassified geospatial intelligence data. Story

Kirby: Timeline for Operation Depends on Ebola Trend

The U.S. military effort to help prevent the spread of Ebola in West Africa could be extended beyond its six-month mission if there is a surge of new cases, the Pentagon Press Secretary said. Story

DARPA's Synthetic Biology Work Targets Diseases, New Materials

Soldiers, military scientists and Defense Department civilians are on the ground in West Africa to help stop history’s largest Ebola outbreak, and now innovators at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency are turning their job of changing what’s possible to the fight against infectious diseases. Story

Secretary Praises Anti-Ebola Efforts

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel thanked troops at Fort Campbell, Ky., for making a "huge difference" in working to contain the spread of Ebola in West Africa. Story

Hagel Mobilizes Forces in Support of Operation United Assistance

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered some 2,100 Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers to deploy in support of Operation United Assistance. Story

Ebola-zone Troops' Health Remains Top Concern

Ensuring that U.S. personnel dispatched to West Africa to help stop the spread of Ebola don't contract the deadly disease remains the U.S. military's top priority, a senior Defense Department official said. Story

USAID Administrator Praises DoD Effort in Ebola Fight

Against the largest and most protracted Ebola outbreak in history, the U.S. military has made a Herculean effort and helped accelerate the critical response in Liberia, Administrator Rajiv Shah of the U.S. Agency for International Development told a House panel. Story

Liberia Makes Progress Against Ebola, Cases Continue

U.S. and Liberian efforts to combat Ebola in the West African country are progressing, but new cases of the disease continue to be reported daily. Story

Official: DoD Brings Unique Capabilities to Ebola Response Mission

The Department of Defense is playing a unique role in the United States' comprehensive Ebola response efforts. Story

Texas Airmen Establish Airlift Squadron for Ebola Response

More than 35 airmen and two Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, arrived in Senegal to establish the 787th Air Expeditionary Squadron and fly humanitarian cargo into Liberia as part of Operation United Assistance. Story

Ebola Response Hospital in Liberia Opens

The Defense Department-provided, 25-bed hospital sent to Monrovia, Liberia, as part of the department's Ebola response efforts has officially opened and is completely staffed, a Defense Department spokesman said. Story

Troops Establish Air Bridge for Ebola Response

More than 35 airmen and two Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft arrived to establish the 787th Air Expeditionary Squadron and fly humanitarian cargo into Liberia for Operation United Assistance. Story

DoD Sets Policy for Troops, Civilians Returning from Ebola Areas

Pentagon officials released guidance outlining a 21-day "controlled monitoring" policy for Defense Department personnel returning from areas where the Ebola virus is present. Story

Treatment Unit for Medical Workers to Open

The Monrovia Medical Unit, an Ebola treatment unit constructed specifically for the treatment of medical workers who were infected while caring for Ebola patients, is scheduled to open about 30 miles outside Monrovia. Story

Troops in Liberia Help Train Treatment Providers

The Joint Forces Command -- United Assistance Defense Department Ebola Training Team, graduated the first class of health care providers, who started work at Ebola treatment units at the National Police Training Center in Paynesville, Liberia, Oct. 31. Story

President Speaks with Troops Deployed in Operation United Assistance

President Barack Obama has spoken with service personnel working to stop the spread of Ebola in West Africa to offer his profound gratitude for their role in Operation United Assistance. Story

Officials List Medical Protocols for DoD Civilians

Pentagon officials have issued a memorandum that lays out the protocols civilian employees will follow upon return from deployment to West Africa to assist the fight against Ebola. Story

Dempsey, Battaglia Explain Rationale for Monitoring

The 21-day controlled monitoring program for U.S. service members returning from West Africa is a conservative and prudent approach, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and his senior enlisted advisor said. Story

Research Institute Targets Ebola, Other Infectious Diseases

Ebola virus disease is a big focus among scientists at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, where the mission since 1969 has been to protect warfighters from biological threats and to investigate disease outbreaks and other public-health threats. Story

Medical Research Institute Has Years of Ebola Drug Expertise

Ebola virus disease has infected more than 10,000 people in West Africa and killed nearly 5,000, and the epidemic continues. Yet for those caught in this historically deadly outbreak, no anti-Ebola virus medicines have yet been approved by national authorities for human use. Story

Hagel: Monitoring Returning Troops Provides 'Safety Valve'

A 21-day monitoring period for U.S. service members returning from areas affected by Ebola in West Africa provides a margin of safety that troops and their families wanted, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said. Story

Spokesman: No DoD Decision on Monitoring Returning Troops

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has not made a decision on a Joint Chiefs of Staff recommendation for how to handle troops returning from Ebola-affected areas in West Africa. Story

Medical Research Institute Contributes to Vaccine Development

No vaccines or drugs are available yet to protect people worldwide against Ebola virus disease, but two potential vaccines are in human safety testing, and scientists at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases were a critical part of their development. Story

Medical Research Institute Develops Ebola Diagnostics

The Ebola crisis in West Africa seized global attention in March, but scientists at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases have worked for years on diagnostics, vaccines and drugs for Ebola and other lethal pathogens that adversaries might use in bioweapons targeting troops on the battlefield.

Navy Physician Provides Ebola Treatment Expertise

The Defense Department's unprecedented mission of establishing a 30-member team to rapidly and effectively respond to any potential Ebola virus outbreak in the U.S. has brought some of the U.S. military health system's best medical professionals together. Story

Army General Takes Command of Ebola Response Operation

Army Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky assumed command of Joint Forces Command – Operation United Assistance and the fight against Ebola in West Africa. Story

Medical Response Team Begins World-Class Training for Possible Ebola Cases

Defense Department leaders are ensuring the 30 members of a medical support team that may be called upon to respond to new cases of Ebola in the U.S. are receiving world-class, state-of-the-art training, a senior military doctor said. Story

Health Chief Details Plan to Protect Troops

U.S. troops will be protected while doing their critical work in West Africa and after they come home, the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs said. Story

Health Chief Outlines Precautions for Ebola Response Troops

Fighting the West Africa Ebola epidemic is immediately and strategically important to the United States, and the Defense Department is taking every precaution to minimize risk to deployed troops, the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs said. Story

Soldiers Leave Senegal for Liberia to Support United Assistance

The commander of the 101st Airborne Division and more than 30 of his troops departed from Leopold Sedar Senghor International Airport in Senegal en route to Liberia, where they will join hundreds of U.S. service members engaged in the fight against Ebola in West Africa. Story

Soldiers to Support Operation United Assistance

Soldiers assigned to the 53rd Transportation Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade are preparing to deploy to West Africa in support of efforts to counter the Ebola outbreak. Story

Airmen Support Ebola Fight, Mitigate Risks at Home

As service members travel to Africa in support of Operation United Assistance, Ramstein Air Base here continues to establish itself as a power projection platform for Europe and Africa. Story

Spokesman Notes Progress in Operation United Assistance

The U.S. military response to the outbreak of Ebola in Liberia continues to progress, with facilities expected to be fully operational next week. Story

U.S. Troops in Liberia at Low Risk of Infection, General Says

The general leading the U.S. military mission to stop the spread of Ebola in Liberia said deployed personnel are at a "relatively low" risk of contracting the disease. Story

Treatment Facility Construction Continues in Liberia

About 100 additional U.S. Army personnel arrived in Liberia over the weekend as part of ongoing efforts to stop the deadly Ebola virus, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said. Story

Obama Meets at Pentagon With Hagel, Military Commanders

President Barack Obama discussed a series of pressing issues affecting U.S. security, including the battle against Sunni terrorists in the Middle East as well as U.S. efforts to stop the spread of Ebola in Africa during a meeting at the Pentagon with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the military's top commanders. Story

Special Marine Task Force Deploying to Liberia

A special Marine expeditionary unit based in Spain is deploying to Liberia, joining hundreds of other U.S. troops in support of efforts to contain the spread of Ebola, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Adm. John Kirby said. Story

Obama: Countries Must Act to Fight Ebola

The nation is profoundly grateful to U.S. medical, development and military personnel who are serving in the fight against Ebola in West Africa, President Barack Obama said. Story

Rodriguez: Troops in Liberia Will Be Protected From Ebola

Soldiers deployed to Liberia to help with the Ebola outbreak there will receive the best equipment and training beforehand, be monitored on the ground and be screened before they go home, the commander of U.S. Africa Command said at the White House. Story

Kentucky Air Guard Supports Mission

More than 60 airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard are scheduled to begin departing for Senegal to establish a cargo-processing hub in support of Operation United Assistance, the international effort to battle Ebola in West Africa. Story

Hagel Authorizes Soldiers for Deployment

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has authorized the deployment of 700 soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division headquarters element to Liberia to help with the Ebola epidemic there, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said. Story

Operation United Assistance Helps in Liberian Ebola Fight

The Defense Department's contribution to the fight against Ebola in Liberia is taking shape as more service members and building supplies arrive in Monrovia, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said. Story

Airmen Deploy to Deliver Treatment Facility

Airmen from the 633rd Medical Group partnered with representatives from the U.S. Public Health Service to deliver a modular medical treatment center as part of the U.S. whole-of-government effort to support humanitarian relief operations in Ebola-stricken African nations. Story

Portrait photo of president Obama.

"In an era where regional crises can quickly become global threats, stopping Ebola is in the interest of all of us."

President Barack Obama
Sept. 25, 2014

Portrait photo of David M. Rodriguez.

"As we deploy America's sons and daughters to support the comprehensive U.S. government effort led by the U.S. Agency for International Development, we'll do everything in our power to address and mitigate any potential risk to our service members and civilian employees and their families."

Army Gen. David M. Rodriguez
Commander, U.S. Africa Command

Oct. 3, 2014

Portrait photo of Army Maj. Gen. Gary J. Volesky.

"Everywhere I go, soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are telling me they're happy to be here. They can see it in the people's eyes here the confidence is building. And so this is a great mission for all of our servicemen and women."

Army Maj. Gen. Gary J. Volesky
Commander, 101st Airborne Division

Nov. 12, 2014

Photo Essays


Screen capture of troops sawing wood.

Army Engineers Complete First Ebola Treatment Unit

More Videos

Executive Order

Ordering the Selected Reserve and Certain Individual Ready Reserve Members of the Armed Forces to Active Duty

- Click Here to View

DoD Ebola Related Activities Costs

As of March 26, 2015, DoD has spent $330.2 million on the Operation United Assistance effort - the DoD mission in Liberia supporting the USG civilian-led response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

Additionally, DoD has spent more than $72 million on Ebola-related activities, which includes $25.6 million for research and development (e.g., vaccine research), and $47 million for cooperative threat reduction (e.g., biosurveillance/biosecurity).

The total cost of DoD Ebola related activities is $402.8 million.


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