United States Secretary of Defense Ash Carter
Defense Secretary Assures U.S. Stay In West Africa
By Prince Nagbe/ LINA
MONROVIA, February 28 (LINA) - Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has assured that the United States Government will not leave West Africa in the midst of the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak.
“The United States is absolutely not going to leave West Africa; the men and women of the Defense Department will help the people of Liberia deal with this deadly disease,” the U.S. Defense secretary reaffirmed.
Secretary Carter gave the assurance Friday to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the Pentagon when she paid him a courtesy call as part of a
three-day official visit to the U.S., the Liberia News Agency quotes the DoD News as saying.
He disclosed that the U.S. through the Department of Defense (DoD) has agreed to send 100 military personnel, civilians and contractors to Liberia in April to replace the 1,180 DoD personnel in Liberia who are expected to be brought back home.
Carter said the team will coordinate U.S. Ebola-related activities and facilitate capacity-building in emergency response, engineering and medical training with the Armed Forces of Liberia and support a reach-back capability for more personnel.
In remarks, President Sirleaf thanked Secretary Carter and the DoD, Congress, all front-line responders, faith-based institutions and the American people in general, for their support to the Government of Liberia in the fight against the Ebola virus.
The Liberia leader also thanked President Obama for authorizing the deployment of military personnel to Liberia, adding: “We know this may not have been welcomed by some, but it made a critical difference in sending a strong message to the Liberian people that the United States was with us.”
“The military personnel deployed in Liberia raised the confidence and motivation of the Liberian people to save themselves, and they are leaving behind a permanent contribution; because they worked with our military, today our military can go out and build health treatment centers and other structures,” Sirleaf said.