U.S. Army unit's efforts lead to declaration that Liberia is Ebola free

(From the left) Sgt. 1st Class Angel S. Morales and Col. Sven C. Erichsen lead Soldiers of the 48th Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Brigade during the uncasing ceremony in support of Operation United Assistance at the U.S. Embassy in | Courtesy of the U.S. Army
With international support from many groups and organizations including soldiers from the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) Command, Liberia was declared free of the Ebola virus on May 9.

Two units were deployed in Liberia during Operation Unified Assistance, which is the name given to the U.S. military's response efforts to combat the Ebola outbreak.

"This successful humanitarian mission in Liberia is another proud chapter in the history of this one-of-a-kind command," Brig. Gen. JB Burton, commanding general of the 20th CBRNE Command, said.

Liberia was one of the three West African nations most impacted by the Ebola virus. In September, the country was seeing 300 to 400 cases a week. The CBRNE Command worked with U.S. Naval Medicine Research Center personnel and partaking in the management of sample testing at six mobile laboratory units.

The first unit to arrive in Liberia from the 20th was the 1st Area Medical Laboratory, which operated from October 2014 to March 2015, and the 48th Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Brigade Headquarters, which took its place in March to resume command of U.S. forces in the country.

"These deployments demonstrate that this command and this CBRNE enterprise must be capable of and comfortable with operating effectively across the full spectrum of CBRNE hazards," Burton said.

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