Military names 5 US bases for Ebola mission troops - including Fort Bragg

Friday, November 7, 2014
Military names 5 US bases for Ebola mission troops - including Fort Bragg
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Troops would be housed and isolated for 21 days upon returning from Africa after serving in the Ebola-response mission.

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WTVD) -- Fort Bragg has been named one of five U.S. military installations to serve as quarantine sites for troops and civilians returning from the Ebola response mission in West Africa.

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The Department of Defense made the announcement Friday afternoon. Other sites include Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, Joint Base Langley- Eustis in Hampton, Virginia, and Fort Hood and Fort Bliss in Texas.

In a press briefing Friday, the Pentagon Press Secretary said the sites were chosen to accommodate the 21-day isolation period because of their proximity to medical facilities and their ability to facilitate the Ebola monitoring, which includes twice daily temperature checks.

Civilians serving on Operation Unified Assistance may also join troops in isolation.

"The Department of Defense issued today supplemental civilian employee Medicare care guidance for those deployed to Ebola outbreak areas," said Rear Admiral John Kirby. "Those employees who become ill, contract diseases or are injured are authorized to receive care at a military treatment facility at no cost to the civilian employee."

The announcement of quarantine sites comes a week after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced a mandatory 21-day isolation period for service members. The isolation is voluntary for Pentagon civilian employees.

A Fort Bragg spokesman said the Post has not been notified of a timetable to prepare quarantine housing. Ben Abel said they still don't know how many troops to expect, or where exactly they'll be housed on post. Planning for the quarantine facilities is in the infant stages.

"One of our biggest goals will be to make sure we find them comfortable arrangements," said Abel.

Fort Bragg currently has soldiers assigned to the 44th Medical Brigade, 18th Airborne Corps on standby to head to West Africa. Some of the first Ebola mission training was conducted on Fort Bragg last month, when troops from Corps units in the East came to the Post.

There are currently 1,800 U.S. troops deployed to West Africa for the mission. Another 3,000 are on standby.

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