The Minnesota National Guard's 34th Infantry Division headquarters and soldiers from 11 other states will deploy this spring to support U.S. Ebola response operations in West Africa, officials announced Sunday.
In all, about 2,100 soldiers from the National Guard and Army Reserve are expected to deploy to Liberia and Senegal to relieve troops who deployed to the region in September and October as part of Operation United Assistance.
The deployment of the Guard and Reserve soldiers was announced Friday. Army officials released the list of specific units tapped for the deployment on Sunday after notifying soldiers and their families.
The soldiers, as well as those already in country, are expected to be deployed for six months.
About 1,200 Guard soldiers are expected to deploy from these units:
•34th Infantry Division headquarters, Minnesota National Guard. The 700 soldiers from the Red Bull division are expected to replace the 101st Airborne Division headquarters, which is currently deployed to provide command and control of U.S. military forces on the ground. The headquarters is expected to leave Minnesota in March for training before deploying to Monrovia, Liberia, in April.
•16th Engineer Brigade headquarters, Ohio National Guard
•223rd Military Intelligence Battalion (Linguist Detachment), California National Guard
•272nd Engineer Company (Vertical Construction), Texas National Guard
•294th Area Support Medical Company, Iowa National Guard
•891st Engineer Battalion, Kansas National Guard.
The Reserve units deploying are:
•96th Sustainment Brigade, of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Denver, Colorado
•313th Movement Control Battalion, Baltimore, Maryland
•324th Fire Fighting Detachment, East Point, Georgia
•324th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, Granite City, Illinois
•329th Survey and Design Team, St. Joseph, Minnesota
•387th Medical Logistics Company, Miami, Florida
•398th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, Rockville, Maryland
•452nd Preventative Medicine Team, Miami, Florida
•996th Horizontal Engineer Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
•B Company, 412th Civil Affairs Battalion, Columbus, Ohio
These units were selected for this upcoming deployment based on their capabilities and ability to respond to the unique demands of the mission, officials said. Their deployment will be part of the second rotation of forces into West Africa to support the U.S. Agency for International Development, officials said.
There are about 2,200 U.S. troops in the region providing logistics, engineering, construction, and command and control support for Ebola response operations.
Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.
Patricia Kime is a senior writer covering military and veterans health care, medicine and personnel issues.