Operation United Assistance

The US Department of Defense (Dod) has mobilised approximately 2,100 US Army Reserve and Army National Guard soldiers to support Operation United Assistance (OUA).

Pentagon press secretary navy rear admiral John Kirby said the order authorising the involuntary mobilisation was signed by the US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

The soldiers are scheduled to replace troops in Senegal and Liberia, who are supporting the US Government’s response to the Ebola outbreak.

Prior to the deployment, soldiers will conduct regionally specific training on Ebola and malaria prevention, and other medical threats, as well as medical readiness requirements.

According to Kirby, the Pentagon will undertake all necessary steps to ensure their safety and reduce or eliminate the risk of transmission of the Ebola virus.

Units from the Army National Guard mobilised as part of the second rotation of OUA forces, including the Minnesota Army National Guard 34th Infantry Division Headquarters, Ohio Army National Guard’s 16th Engineer Brigade Headquarters, California Army National Guard’s 223rd Military Intelligence Battalion and Texas Army National Guard’s 272nd Engineer Company.

Also selected were the Iowa Army National Guard’s 294th Area Support Medical Company and the Kansas Army National Guard’s 891st Engineer Battalion.

"Prior to the deployment, soldiers will conduct regionally specific training on Ebola and malaria prevention, and other medical threats."

The mobilising US Army Reserve units include the 96th Sustainment Brigade, 313th Movement Control Battalion, 324th Fire Fighting Detachment, 324th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 329th Survey and Design Team, 387th Medical Logistics Company, 398th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 452nd Preventative Medicine Team and 996th Horizontal Engineer Company, as well as B Company, 412th Civil Affairs Battalion.

Nearly 2,200 US soldiers are in West Africa providing logistics, engineering, construction and command and control support for Ebola response missions, the Army Times reported.

In a separate development, Hagel set out a series of measures to increase investment in US nuclear deterrents, after reviews found evidence of systemic problems.

The Pentagon is allocating more than $160m this year and $150m next year to help address some of the most urgent shortfalls in the nuclear enterprise, while seeking to eliminate micromanagement, redundancies and administrative burdens that overtax the force and harm the mission.

Image: US soldiers in Ganta, Liberia, on their way to meet with local city and medical officials as part of Operation United Assistance. Photo: courtesy of Sgt 1st class Nathan Hoskins.

Defence Technology