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Military & Veterans' Issues

Military Ebola Team Training At Joint Base San Antonio

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U.S. Army
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A team of military medical specialists is in San Antonio to begin Ebola containment training today at Fort Sam Houston.

The team, whose creation was ordered over the weekend by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, will prepare to assist civilian medical professionals in case of another report of Ebola in the U.S.

U.S. Northern Command brought together 20 nurses, five doctors, and five trainers from installations around the country to become the military’s first domestic support team for quick response in Ebola cases.

NORTHCOM Spokesman Preston Schlacter said the highly-specialized infectious disease team is at Joint Base San Antonio specifically to train in protocols for using personal protection equipment, or PPE.

“It needs to be put on a certain way. It also needs to be taken off a certain way to maximize the safety of health care workers and all personnel involved,” Schlacter said.

He said the training at Fort Sam Houston makes sense for a variety of reasons. JBSA has a broad base of training support and is home to U.S. Army North, which is the primary headquarters for Defense Support to Civil Authority missions such as DOD support to FEMA during natural disasters.

Following this week's training, the 30 members of the team will return to their home bases to continue their regular service until they are called to duty in response to any additional Ebola cases within U.S. borders.