Due to changes in the mission requirements, the National Guard's 891st Engineer Battalion stationed in Iola, Kansas, was informed on Wednesday that it will not be deployed to West Africa to help with the Ebola outbreak.
“Our soldiers were willing to go, but it’s a fact of military life that missions can and do change" Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, adjunct general of Kansas, said. "The Department of Defense reduced the mission requirements, so there was no longer any need for an engineer battalion headquarters and forward support company.”
The National Guard's auxiliary support was enacted as a part of President Barrack Obama's executive order to increase the U.S. military's response and aid in West Africa under Operation United Assistance. They were scheduled to depart for West Africa in spring 2015, but updated information regarding what was needed allowed the National Guard to scale back the number of people that would be sent abroad.
“I have no doubt that if we are ever assigned similar missions, our Guardsmen will respond to the call and serve with distinction,” Tafanelli said.
Their original assignment was to build and maintain mobile treatment facilities, and provide support in other ways. New developments limit the need for the building of these facilities.