Un-frigging-believable: US troops get just 4 hours of Ebola training

As y’all know, I spent 22 years active duty service in the U.S. Army and deployed several times to combat zones, and what I’ve learned recently about troop preparations and deployment activities is quite disconcerting.

As reported by the Daily Beast, “American military operations to fight Ebola in Africa are unfolding quickly—forcing the military to come up with some procedures and protocols on the fly. Soldiers preparing for deployment to West Africa are given just four hours of Ebola-related training before leaving to combat the epidemic. And the first 500 soldiers to arrive have been holing up in Liberian hotels and government facilities while the military builds longer-term infrastructure on the ground. For soldiers at Fort Campbell and Fort Bragg preparing for their deployments to West Africa, Mobile Training Teams from the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), based out of Fort Detrick, have been tasked with instructing them on Ebola protocols.”

Four hours of deployment training for Ebola? Four hours to prepare our men and women to combat against something that can take their lives? This is unbelievable. I recall spending countless hours training and preparing for a combat deployment at ranges and in the field. Heck, we spent four hours doing operations order briefings for the deployment — rehearsals and such. We’re not talking about medical professionals who’ve spent their entire careers understanding how to deal with infectious diseases. I wonder what medical professionals would say if they were to receive just four hours of training to combat ISIS or the Taliban?

“All training is tiered to the level of risk each person may encounter,” said USAMRIID spokeswoman Caree Vander Linden. The training process sounds daunting: One USA Today report described soldiers being told that Ebola “basically causes your body to eat itself from the inside out” and that Ebola is “worse” than what soldiers encountered in Afghanistan. Others reportedly heard that the disease is “catastrophic” and “frightening… with a high fatality rate,” though the chances of contracting it are low. “I’ll be honest with you,” one soldier told the newspaper. “I’m kind of scared.”

This, ladies and gents, is the level of concern the Commander-in-Chief has for your sons and daughters in uniform. He signs an executive order allowing illegals to enlist and uses the same pen to deploy our American troops into harm’s way against a deadly virus — with four hours of training and preparation. And our elected officials, both Democrat and Republican, just sit back and allow this to happen. They don’t challenge Obama. Heck, I’d be scared as well, and what happens if by some act of fate these troops contract this disease? What are the redeployment procedures for those affected troops?

The Daily Beast reports “the military maintains that the risk of contracting the virus is minimal. Ebola is not an airborne disease, and there are no plans for U.S. service members deployed to West Africa to have any contact with sick patients.”

Hate to tell ya folks, but that’s what we military planners call an assumption — that they will not have contact — not a fact.

“I’m not an epidemiologist, but it’s been shown that this disease is most manifest when handling bodily fluid—blood, other sorts of fluids, and there is no plan right now for U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines to do that,” Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams, the officer in charge of America’s operations center in Liberia, told reporters Thursday. “As long as you exercise basic sanitation and cleanliness sort of protocols … I think the risk is relatively low.”

I appreciate the words of MG Williams, with whom I briefly served in the 4th Infantry Division, but as the enemy has a vote, so does this virus, which we have not yet been able to contain. The only way to guarantee a Soldier or Marine doesn’t contract Ebola is by not deploying them into the “hot zone.”

I remember when a rocket hit a mess hall in Iraq and killed Soldiers — I don’t think they ever thought they’d die while eating chow on their base. And yes, a couple of days before my redeployment out of Afghanistan, a rocket hit just outside of the chow hall near the line — thankfully it was a dud. Can’t tell you how many times we had to jump out of the rack when the sirens went off in the middle of the night.

Any deployment into a combat zone has uncertainty surrounding it no matter what. Dangers abound and you don’t prepare our men and women with just four hours of training — regardless of what the enemy may be.

The Beast says, there are just over 500 military service members in West Africa, serving in Senegal and Liberia. A major part of their mission is logistics and construction: The U.S. military is building a 25-bed hospital and 17 Ebola treatment units, as well as training health-care providers in Liberia.”

“A small number of specially trained soldiers from USAMRIID are at the highest risk, and an exception to Williams’ comment that soldiers are not handling bodily fluids. These service members have been supporting a laboratory in Liberia to run Ebola tests on patient samples, but are also are highly prepared to deal with infectious diseases.”

“However, the American troops in Liberia are so far living in improvised quarters in hotels and government building as well, they are also utilizing local drivers and vehicles to support their movements.”

I disagree with using our U.S. military in this type of operation — and have grave concerns with four hours of Ebola preparation training. And I always have concerns about rules of engagement (ROE) and the following warrants my concern as the Daily Beast reports, “the military acknowledges that it is currently sharing hotels and businesses with foreign nationals. “We are here with the permission of the Liberian government and we do not clear out local hotels and businesses during our stay,” said an Army spokesman. “We chose hotels with the safety of our service members in mind, and the hotel staffs monitor all employees and guests and allow us to conduct safety inspections of their facilities to ensure they meet our safety criteria.” Instead, the military spokesman focused on the precautions that they are already taking: Soldiers based in Liberia have their temperature measured several times per day, and are not permitted to shake hands.”

There are risks and then there are taking chances. We taking incredible chances with the lives of our men and women. You cannot mitigate all the risks of Ebola — certainly not with just four hours of training preparation.

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55 Comments on "Un-frigging-believable: US troops get just 4 hours of Ebola training"

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Matthew
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That’s about par-for-the-course for deployment training. Back in ’94, our unit received about 4 hours of Riot Control training for JTF-160/Operation Sea Signal. Our training never helped in dealing with the 30k strong Riots we had to deal with, at all.

robertsisente
Guest

The response, or lack there of, is all due to politics. Everything is on hold until after the elections. Which is complete bs. No one does what is right anymore, they only do what benefits them. A complete breakdown of the intended design of our government. At some point, we need to hit the reset button, and start over……

melsbabysis
Guest
Still think the troops were sent to West Africa to fight Ebola? This is why history is so important. Remember the Mali crisis? The crisis began when the democratically-elected government of Amadou Toumani Touré of Mali was overthrown on in the southern capital on March 21st due to his mismanagement of the crisis. The leader of the military coup was Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo who was trained by the United States on “several occasions” according to a Washington Post article dated March 23, 2012. It is obvious that Washington was behind the action undertaken by Sanogo. The United States desperately… Read more »
info warrior
Guest

4 hours should be enough, for people who have a medical background and experience/training in using PPE. Remember, this is an emergency situation where every second counts.

Steve Marinos
Guest
Their mission is built hospitals etc. It is not to have contact with patients. They have no medical back round. $ hours is just enough to get everyone dead!! When these soldiers start coming home with this crap, everyone will wonder why the government did not train them well. Or perhaps they will just blame it on the nurse, such as they did in Texas, until the second nurse was positive, then all the lies about the incompetence of the hospital came out. Professionals that have more than adequate education, still came down with the virus. This in itself should… Read more »
gjsmith_62
Guest

When did the military become the peace corp?

Steve Marinos
Guest

In 2008, and again in 2012. Hopefully we will have our military back inn 2016……

Judy Selich
Guest

The question is: do they have the medical background?

Steve Marinos
Guest

NO!!!!!

urbanvrwcmom
Guest

The newly appointed Ebola czar doesn’t!

TXSoldier254
Guest

That’s what Obama say everytime he wants something not in the best interest of America.

TXSoldier254
Guest

Remember, we have Host Nation Contracting for Military Support (Food/Water/Building Materials/etc.)
What ARE the Screening Protocols for the Foreign Nationals in W. Africa?

420608
Guest

I have a good friend, stationed at Ft. Campbell. I sent this story to him to give him a good laugh. His unit is waiting on deployment orders now. Make sure to read the last sentence in his response. “The
training is mostly the same as our chemical and biological training
that we train on every year. The 4 hours was just to train on how to put
on the suits and how to double glove.”

RedStateJoe
Guest

As much as West dreams of a day when soldiers come home in bodybags, what will you, the reader, do when that doesn’t happen?

West was an artillery officer who was forced out of the Army because he couldn’t maintain his unit and couldn’t keep his bearing under pressure. He’s not a medical officer. He has no medical training.

When he is proven wrong, and the mission is a success, will you then finally stop reading his drivel?

gjsmith_62
Guest

Why does a loser leftist like you post here?

batlcrewzer
Guest

Why do T-bag losers think they can tell strangers where they can or cannot exercise free speech?

gjsmith_62
Guest

Wow, not too bright are you? Do you even understand the concepts behind any of the amendments?

Man, you are an idiot.

Earl Lee
Guest

Amen! Keep telling the truth about this LOON!!!

Juline An
Guest

A single mom can profit $6160 in 1 month on the compute only from working part time off a laptop… you can try this out http://www.jump62.com ” rel=”nofollow”>ACT NOW

Tanzania Amani
Guest
Having 4,000 troops here has much less to do with Ebola and much more to do with ulterior motives, hence only 4 hours of training whether it’s adequate or not. The training is a mute point. I’m in East Africa and no one here is concerned about borders, containing contagion, etc. etc. Why? Because as Mr. CDC Frieden continuously repeats, “We know how Ebola is spread”. He knows, because the CDC holds the patent on Ebola, which is no new news, they have the patent on many laboratory man made viruses. Anyone interested could read about this stuff 20 years… Read more »
judy
Guest
From what I have read before, I believe you. Actually, HIN holds the patent and Gates and Monsantos are invested in the vaccine. The U.S. was unable to test vaccine or vaccines on people here. Hummm. Pigs and monkeys placed in pens next to each other. One pen with ebola and the other free from ebola. The ebola free pen contracted the disease. You might be interested in The Green Agenda, just google it. Tuskegee Experiment 1932-1972, CDC’s crimanal immorality or U.S. experiments with Guatamalan citizens and STI’s. Troops on the ground is far more reaching than what we are… Read more »
gjsmith_62
Guest

Why not restrict all flights from any first world nation into the hell hole that is Africa?

Lou9999
Guest

I have an idea. Send 4000 Ebola ladened goats to Iraq and Syria. That should take care of ISIS in about a month.

Steve Marinos
Guest

I like it.

Trish Strong
Guest
OK I am not a medical person, but I am pretty certain if I was being sent to Liberia to do what the army is being sent to do(namely build hospitals/treatment centers…I would NOT need extensive training.Local health professionals here are being given training and it is essentially one day.It entails how to use the PPEs and the mode of transmission of Ebola.That does not need extensive training, they are NOT doctors and they are NOT there to be exposed directly to those who are seriously ill.Sure there is a possibility that they may, come in contact with sick people… Read more »
gjsmith_62
Guest

Why send the military and not the peace corps?

Steve Marinos
Guest
Can you contract Ebola from using the toilet? Does using the same silverware without it being cleansed at what temperature makes it safe? Wearing a condom protect you against Ebola? What type of hand sanitize kills Ebola? When you see someone walking down the street, and they collapse, do you go help them? Being in the military, I can tell you this. You never do just what you are trained, or asked from the beginning to do. Building hospitals etc are nice. However, this is not all you do. You have to live as well. Sure you don’t need extensive… Read more »
Trish Strong
Guest

I do not have a medical background, however when this surfaced i took the time to educate myself about the disease, not by going to sites like this one that enjoy fueling the fire of conspiracy theories, but ones that contain facts, ones that deal with science.

Here is a site that explains in detail scientifically how Ebola works http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/know-enemy/ the bottom line however is the disease is NOT that easy to get except in certain conditions.These soldiers are NOT going to be in DIRECT contact with sick people and DIRECT contact is REQUIRED to get this disease.

Trish Strong
Guest
Clearly you need to educate yourself.You become infected by direct contact with bodily fluids from an infected symptomatic person…so vomit, feces, blood, urine,possibly saliva and sweat.A person who is sick with Ebola is not going to be wandering casually about, when you become symptomatic you get seriously ill very quickly and it is ONLY once a person shows symptoms that they become infective…so no worries about shared silverware or even public toilets(though there would be some risk if the toilets are not kept clean).It is very unlikely that someone is going to be casually walking down the street perfectly fine… Read more »
judy
Guest
Better check out how West Africans are percieving the acts of their caregivers over there. Very paranoid. Boko Haram lerking. People stealing bed linens etc from ebola compound. They are drawing blood from vitims in the hopes of injecting themselves to be immune. It is hard to know who or what the enemy is over there. Our troops will have their work cut out for them. People can say all they want to about how ebola is not that contagious but if you consider what the troops will have to dodge, it would be short of a miricle for all… Read more »
Steve Marinos
Guest

You are a dreamer. If everything happened the way the research stated, what a wonderful world we would all live in. In the beginning of you post you stated you are not medical educated. Now after reading an article, you are a doctor. And my ignorance is astounding. Take a close look at your self. And all this business of not collapsing in the middle of the street. Would be nice if this behavior happens everywhere, however, in third world country, this is exactly how it goes. Unbelievable how people become instead educated after one article. Your a dope.

Trish Strong
Guest
No where did I claim to be a doctor, my how you twist and distort what you read.No wonder you have such bizarre ideas about how Ebola is spread.I ham however an intelligent person and have an above average IQ and unlike a good many of the present day population have learned to use the brains that God gave me and DO research(it really is NOT that difficult)to find out the truth.Also I know the difference between “you’re” and “your”…the fact that you don’t does not say much for YOUR intelligence. You can choose to fall for all the media… Read more »
Earl Lee
Guest

22 years huh?? What about that last one….RELIEVED OF COMMAND mr west….

Lou9999
Guest

Maybe, but it wasn’t for incompetence or cowardice. Mr. Lee, you sir, are a turd.

Earl Lee
Guest

Don’t matter why he was relieve of command…HE WAS RELIEVED OF COMMAND!!!

Lou9999
Guest

Well, at least you didn’t deny being a turd.

batlcrewzer
Guest

Earl, scoot on over to open secrets. $$arah is pulling the same PAC scam as “uncle Ruckus”. And the T-bag cretins are falling for it.

Earl Lee
Guest

I don’t know if you ever notice…but with these teabillies….its not the numbers…its the site they are posted on!!

Earl Lee
Guest

Sarah gave about 5% to candidates! These loons don’t research CRAP!! They listen to all the bullcrap then send their money and they get absolutely NOTHING in return! Well…facebook post and blog post! When will Sarah run? When will allen run?? They won’t…too much money to be made from these LOONS!!!

batlcrewzer
Guest

I can’t help but wonder is “Uncle Ruckus” jealous? I’ll be Keith Ablowes
for a minute and my diagnoses is extreme resentment and military johnson
envy. No doubt Ruckus is pinning away for the good ‘ole days of
colonial empowerment and the unrestricted torture of the hapless
natives. Tsk,tsk how far the disgraced have fallen! (haha)

gjsmith_62
Guest

Obama not content with importing poverty, disease and illiteracy from the third world, seeks to infect volunteers in the armed services too?

What is wrong with this tyrant? Is it drugs?

MotherBatherick
Guest

He’s not called Puff the Magic Negro for nothing.

batlcrewzer
Guest

Let us know when he gets to Bush (the fool) score of 5,000 dead and 38,000 wounded. Then you can really clutch you pearls! (haha)

beehiver
Guest

Total Afghanistan casualties: Bush-117 Obama-2,232
Total Iraq casualties: Bush-907 Obama-3,583

beehiver
Guest

It really sucks to be lead by a loser.

gjsmith_62
Guest

Really? What’s Obama’s tally for the dead under his watch?

And while you’re whining about Bush’s authorized use of force, willing to bet you ignored Obama’s foray and “Leading From [his] Behind” effort in Libya and bombing Syria, right?

Hypocrite.

MotherBatherick
Guest

Being that obama leads out of his behind, I don’t imagine the Commander-In-Chief will be visiting to lend his support to our troops in West Africa.

dlandrews
Guest

In Liberia, I have read that there are dead bodies lying in the street, so unless the military fly from building top to building top they will probably come in contact with dead bodies. Dead bodies from Ebola have the highest viral load.

Karen
Guest

I am so afraid for our country…. It is being destroyed from the inside by the man that is supposed to protect us…..

Rocko19
Guest

**
Un-frigging-believable, is right, also disgusting that Obama is trying
is hardest to destroy our military by doing this….
Why is it that more ex military like West are not speaking out against this bs.
Why is it that piece of garage Colin Powell has not been asked his opinion on
the other piece of garbage Obama, does he still stick up for the jerk…
.

Rocko19
Guest

**
Why is it that no one is calling for Obama’s impeachment, if for nothing else,
then for incompetence. Now after the election, the sob is giving amnesty and
benefits to all these damn illegals..
.

HoofHugs
Guest

The House could impeach him but it wouldn’t go anywhere. What I don’t understand is why we don’t defund the treasonous federal agencies that are usurping our freedoms.

theresa951
Guest

My Uncle Adrian got an awesome 9 month old Mercedes E-Class Diesel only from working part-time off a macbook… navigate to this web-site …….>> -> INCREASE YOUR EARNINGS!! <-

kushalkumar
Guest
In order to bring Ebola under control, this writer is suggesting a very simple and easy remedy which may be tried by combining with any right type of related medical or healing treatment for effective wellness of a patient. Green or yellow or a mix of both ,colored dress for the patient could be useful. Similarly, bed -sheets and pillows ought to be of said color. The doctors/nueses/and other staff engaged in treating or looking after the Ebola infected patients may usefully also wear similar dress to so that they do not attract infection from patients. A question may obviously… Read more »
Connie Alsip
Guest

IS your shoulder sore from patting yourself on the back?? The theory may have merit, but what are the codings for? Kinda purile.