Airmen, Soldiers Deploy for Ebola Relief Mission

Airmen from the 633rd Medical Group at JB Langley-Eustis, Va., departed for Africa Sept. 26 to support the government-wide humanitarian relief operations in countries suffering Ebola outbreaks, according to a release. The airmen, accompanied by the Expeditionary Medical Support System (EMEDS), will support a 25-bed deployable hospital facility designed to treat a population of up to 6,500. While in Africa, the airmen will train the international health workers on the proper use and application of the medical equipment in the new pop-up facility. Generally, EMEDS are set up for trauma care, said acting deputy surgeon general for the US Department of Public Health Service Rear Adm. Scott Giberson. The use of an EMEDS unit for “an infectious pathogen and treatment of international health care workers” may set a precedent, he said. The Army also is deploying two groups of 700 soldiers each to support the fight against Ebola, said Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby on Tuesday. One group will help command and control the overall US effort, while the other includes combat engineers who will help construct the field hospitals and other facilities the US is providing, Kirby said. A small unit of Navy seabees already is on the scene to prepare the sites for the hospitals, he said.