The U.S. military is in the process of forming a 30-person team for deployment within the United States, as part of the Obama Administration’s official Ebola response plan. According to CNN, who received their information from a Defense Department source, the team will be under orders to deploy within 72 hours at any time over the next month.
Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby later confirmed portions of the CNN story, saying “The team will include five doctors, 20 nurses and five trainers.”
“In response to a request by the Department of Health and Human Services — and as an added prudent measure to ensure our nation is ready to respond quickly, effectively, and safely in the event of additional Ebola cases in the United States — (Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel) today ordered his Northern Command Commander, Gen. Chuck Jacoby, to prepare and train a 30-person expeditionary medical support team that could, if required, provide short-notice assistance to civilian medical professionals in the United States,” Kirby said.
This comes on the heels of the Obama administration’s executive order calling up National Guard reserves to deal with Ebola in West Africa. Once formed, this U.S. based team will head to Fort Sam Houston in Texas for seven days of training in infection control and personal protective equipment. According to Kirby, the training will begin “within the next week or so,” and then the team will be expected to deploy anywhere in the U.S. if “deemed prudent by our public health professionals.”
But some retired Generals are blasting the Obama administration for putting our troops, who have no experience fighting infectious disease, in harm’s way. Earlier this week retired Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin, in an exclusive interview with WND, told the news organization:
“This is a president who thinks like a community organizer and not like a commander-in-chief who takes his responsibility for his troops seriously.”
“At a time when our military has been at war for 13 years, suicide is at an all-time high, [post-traumatic stress disorder] is out of control and families are being destroyed as a result of 13 years of war, the last thing the president should be doing is sending people into West Africa to fight Ebola.”
Boykin pointed out that these military teams don’t have any qualifications to deal with Ebola.
“That’s not what the military does,” said Boykin. Furthermore, he stated:
“When [General] Douglas MacArthur in 1962 stood in the mess hall of West Point and made a very impassioned statement, he looked at [the cadets] and said, ‘Your mission remains fixed, determined and inviolable. It is to fight and to win the nation’s wars.’
“That should be what the president is focused on now. The mission of the military is to fight war, not to fight Ebola.” said Boykin. “It is a misuse of our military, and I for one am very opposed to this [deployment].”