Fort Eustis soldiers deploy to aid in fight against Ebola

Posted at 12:43 PM, Oct 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-23 00:13:40-04

Newport News, Va. (WTKR) - Approximately 60 soldiers deployed from Fort Eustis Wednesday to help in the fight against Ebola.

The soldiers are from the 53rd Transportation Battalion (Movement Control), 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary).

Their deployment is in support of Operation United Assistance.

The 53rd Transportation Battalion (Movement Control) specializes in the coordination of construction materials, equipment and supplies.

The unit will deploy to West Africa to provide logistical support to United States Agency for International Development's efforts.

"We will not have any contact with the patients. Our mission will be strictly logistics, making sure the supplies and equipment are available for those that will be providing treatment," Lt. Col Kevin Baird, 53rd Transportation Battalion (MC) commander told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo before the deployment.

It's a quick turnaround for the soldiers who just returned home from a deployment to Kuwait in April.

"We were a little bit surprised. The unit hasn't been back that long from their last deployment but it's something that we are all excited to be a part of. This is one of those missions where we are going to go and make a difference for the world."

"This is my first humanitarian mission so I'm very ecstatic to go over here and help," Specialist Sherell Caldwell said.

The soldiers from Fort Eustis have spent several weeks training  and receiving instruction on proper preventive measures to keep themselves healthy.

"We've gotten detailed training on the personal protective equipment - that is full protection head to toe. We are taking most of that equipment with us," LTC Baird said.

The length of the deployment isn't known yet, but the soldiers will be screened and monitored extensively while deployed and before coming home.


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