WASHINGTON (TIP): The US military expects to increase the number of troops deployed to Liberia to fight the Ebola outbreak to nearly 4,000, up from a planned 3,000-strong force, the Pentagon said on October 3.
About 200 soldiers are already in Liberia setting up a headquarters for the US mission, which is aimed at training health care workers and setting up medical facilities for international aid teams.
President Barack Obama earlier this month announced that about 3,000 troops would eventually head to West Africa to help with efforts against the deadly virus.
But the Pentagon said officials were looking at ramping up the size of the force if necessary.
“We project that there could be nearly 4,000 troops deployed in support of this mission, but we’re obviously assessing the requirements on a daily basis. It may not go that high,” spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters.
He said an additional 1,800 US Army troops, including engineers, medical and aviation specialists, received orders to deploy to Africa in coming weeks.
This was in addition to 1,400 already headed to Monrovia this month, including the troops already on the ground.
The deployment will bring the total number of American forces in Liberia and neighboring states to 3,200, officials said.