Kansas will deploy National Gaurd soldiers to West Africa

Approximately 170 soldiers from the Kansas National Guard will be deployed to West Africa in the spring of 2015 to help combat the ongoing Ebola epidemic. 

The soldiers are from the National Guard's 891st Engineer Battalion Headquarters Company and Field Support Company in Iola, Kansas.

Their deployment is part of an executive order signed by President Barack Obama on Oct. 16 that allows National Guard soldiers to augment the U.S. military support in Operation United Assistance.

“Our highest priority is the safety of our soldiers while they are deployed to West Africa,” Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said. “We will ensure they will have everything they need to accomplish this mission without putting themselves at risk.”

The battalion was selected to help build mobile treatment facilities in Africa and will be stationed there for six months to a year. Training for the deployment is set to begin soon.

“We are working closely with the Department of Defense to take all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our soldiers on this mission,” Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, Kansas adjutant general, said. “We will provide our soldiers with the best possible training to conduct their mission, and the necessary protocols and preventative measures needed to stay safe.”

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