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Tubmanburg Liberia Ebola Treatment Unit brings partnership through critical mission

 

Written by Staff Sgt. Terrance Rhodes
Headquarters, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)

Fort Campbell KY - 101st Airborne DivisionTubmanburg, Liberia – In 2014, the most widespread epidemic of the Ebola virus disease hit western African countries like never before. Many people feared the epidemic would cause total mayhem. Some countries have encountered difficulties controlling the epidemic, but in the city of Tubmanburg there’s a chance at a new life.

The first Ebola treatment unit opened in Tubmanburg, Liberia, due to the efforts of the Armed Forces of Liberia in partnership with Operation Onward Liberty, November 10th.

Operation Onward Liberty is a U.S. military-led team who mentors and advise the AFL in order to develop a national military that is responsible, operationally capable, respectful of civilian authority and the rule of law, and is a force for good among the Liberian people.

Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky, right, the Joint Forces Command – United Assistance commander addresses Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai, far left, vice president of the Republic of Liberia, and his staff at the dedication of Ebola treatment unit ceremony in Tubmanburg, Liberia, Nov. 10, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Terrance D. Rhodes)

Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky, right, the Joint Forces Command – United Assistance commander addresses Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai, far left, vice president of the Republic of Liberia, and his staff at the dedication of Ebola treatment unit ceremony in Tubmanburg, Liberia, Nov. 10, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Terrance D. Rhodes)

U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Nathan Knowles, a combat engineer officer with the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command, from Twentynine Palms, Morongo Valley, California, highlighted his experience working with the AFL.

“This is the first time in AFL history where they’ve been able to conduct civil-military construction operations in support of their country,” said Knowles. “The effort of this project has been one of the most rewarding to date.”

More than two months ago, the Tubmanburg ETU was just a concept on a piece of paper. With no idea of knowing what the ETU would look like, the two organizations spent countless hours together to get the ETU up and running, said Knowles.

The ETU is built on a 2 acre site with 13,056 square feet of treatment space, 100-bed capacity and 13,500 gallons of water storage. Construction materials were procured locally, including 3,100 cubic yards of gravel.

Armed forces of Liberia Capt. Glee Dada, the project officer of the First Engineer Company, is very pleased with the construction of the ETU and the partnership that it has built.

“Maj. Knowles and his team has been very instrumental in the planning, recon and design of getting this project done,” said Dada. “It was a privilege working together as brothers.”

Dada took the challenge of building the ETU as an honor.

“During this time of nation crisis, I felt like it was incumbent upon us to assist in providing this facility as a beacon of hope to save the lives of our countrymen,” said Dada.

Now, with Tubmanburg ETU built, the future is looking bright, as the two organizations have already broken ground on another ETU site.

“We are currently in the process of building another ETU in Sinje, Cape Mount County,” said Dada. “We are there to save lives and properties, and we will continue to provide hope for our country.”


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