Minnesota National Guard members headed to Liberia next spring to fight Ebola



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    In this Dec. 11, 2008 file photo, members of the Rosemount-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division learned they would be deployed to Iraq. It was announced Sunday that nearly 700 of the Red Bulls will be deployed to Liberia next spring to help fight the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

    The soldiers are part of the Rosemount-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and are expected to be in the West African country for about six months beginning in April, according to a Minnesota National Guard news statement issued Sunday.

    Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune file photo

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    Nearly 700 Minnesota National Guard members will be deployed to Liberia next spring to help fight the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

    The soldiers are part of the Rosemount-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and are expected to be in the West African country for about six months beginning in April, according to a Minnesota National Guard news statement issued Sunday.

    The Red Bulls will not treat Ebola patients, but will be assigned instead to help synchronize military operations, personnel and resources in the area.

    “Importantly for the Liberian people, the Minnesota National Guard will provide confidence that something can and will be done to stop the spread of the disease,” Army Maj. Gen. Rick Nash, the guard’s adjutant general in Minnesota, said in the release.

    A news conference is set for 10 a.m. Monday at the Rosemount National Guard Armory.

    Guard members will leave Minnesota in March for training and then be deployed to Monrovia, Liberia in April, according to the news release. There, they will assume command from the 101st Airborne Division based in Fort Campbell, Ky.

    The National Guard said all troops being deployed to West Africa will receive medical training and use special equipment to protect against exposure to the disease.

    “Preserving the health of our soldiers is the highest priority for this mission,” Army Maj. Gen. Neal Loidolt, commanding general of the 34th Infantry Division, was quoted as saying.

     

    Anthony Lonetree • 651-925-5036

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