Military members fighting spread of Ebola abroad and at home

Posted at 7:03 PM, Oct 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-09 19:03:19-04

Portsmouth, Va. (WTKR) - Service members from Hampton Roads are joining the fight against the spread of Ebola both overseas and at home.

Airmen from the 633rd Medical Group based at Joint Base Langley-Eustis deployed in late September to Western Africa to deliver an Expeditionary Medical Support System (EMEDS), which is a mobile treatment facility.

They won't be directly involved in any treatment of persons diagnosed with Ebola.

Later this month, soldiers from Fort Eustis are expected to deploy to Western Africa to provide logistical support as part of Operation United Assistance.

UPDATE: Local military members deploy to aid in fight against Ebola

LCDR Nate Christensen, a Department of Defense Spokesman, confirms to NewsChannel 3 that service members who deploy in support of the Ebola Outbreak in Africa would be eligible for special pay.

That includes Hardship Duty Pay-Location of $150 per month for operations in Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

Service members who have dependents would also be eligible for Family Separation Allowance of $250 per month.

In Hampton Roads, the 5th Coast Guard District is taking additional steps to monitor ships coming into the Port of Virginia.

They are especially reviewing the ship's last five port calls.

"We are looking specifically at ships coming from West Africa," external affairs officer Lt. Krystyn Pecora told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo Thursday.

While the Coast Guard stresses there have been no confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola for crew members on ships, they are remaining vigilant and are ready to act if necessary.

"The Coast Guard screens ships for all threats and we’ve just adapted our existing procedures to ensure that we are ready for any threat. Our motto is always ready."