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Dyess Airmen join forces with Kentucky Air Guard in Senegal, establish airlift squadron for Ebola response

U.S. Air Force Capts. Vincent Levraea (left) and Jason Steinlicht, both pilots from the 317th Airlift Group at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, conduct pre-flight checklists at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 4, 2014. The pilots are preparing to fly a sortie into Monrovia, Liberia, to deliver more than 8 tons of humanitarian aid and military supplies in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Capts. Vincent Levraea (left) and Jason Steinlicht, both pilots from the 317th Airlift Group at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, conduct pre-flight checklists at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 4, 2014. The pilots are preparing to fly a sortie into Monrovia, Liberia, to deliver more than 8 tons of humanitarian aid and military supplies in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Aerial porters from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group load 8 tons of humanitarian aid and military supplies onto a U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 4, 2014. The aircraft and crew, from Dyess Air Force Base Texas, are deployed to Senegal as part of the 787th Air Expeditionary Squadron and will fly the cargo into Monrovia, Liberia, in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Aerial porters from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group load 8 tons of humanitarian aid and military supplies onto a U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 4, 2014. The aircraft and crew, from Dyess Air Force Base Texas, are deployed to Senegal as part of the 787th Air Expeditionary Squadron and will fly the cargo into Monrovia, Liberia, in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Teara Sapp, a loadmaster from the 317th Airlift Group at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, loads a pallet of humanitarian aid and military supplies onto a U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 4, 2014. Sapp and 35 other Airmen from Dyess are deployed to Senegal as part of the 787th Air Expeditionary Squadron, which is flying cargo into Monrovia, Liberia, in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Teara Sapp, a loadmaster from the 317th Airlift Group at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, loads a pallet of humanitarian aid and military supplies onto a U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 4, 2014. Sapp and 35 other Airmen from Dyess are deployed to Senegal as part of the 787th Air Expeditionary Squadron, which is flying cargo into Monrovia, Liberia, in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Aerial porters from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group push a pallet of cargo onto a C-130 aircraft from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 4, 2014. The Kentucky Airmen are operating an Aerial Port of Debarkation to funnel humanitarian aid to Liberia in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Aerial porters from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group push a pallet of cargo onto a C-130 aircraft from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 4, 2014. The Kentucky Airmen are operating an Aerial Port of Debarkation to funnel humanitarian aid to Liberia in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jarrod Blanford, an aerial porter from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, directs the placement of a pallet of humanitarian cargo from an all-terrain forklift onto a Halverston Loader at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 4, 2014. The cargo will then be transferred to a U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, for delivery to Monrovia, Liberia, in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jarrod Blanford, an aerial porter from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, directs the placement of a pallet of humanitarian cargo from an all-terrain forklift onto a Halverston Loader at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 4, 2014. The cargo will then be transferred to a U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, for delivery to Monrovia, Liberia, in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

A U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules takes off from Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 4, 2014, en route to Monrovia, Liberia. The aircraft is carrying 8 tons of humanitarian aid and military supplies in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

A U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules takes off from Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 4, 2014, en route to Monrovia, Liberia. The aircraft is carrying 8 tons of humanitarian aid and military supplies in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Bruce Bancroft of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group briefs Airmen as they arrive at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 2, 2014. The Airmen, from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, are standing up the 787th Air Expeditionary Squadron to fly humanitarian aid and military support cargo into Liberia as part of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Bruce Bancroft of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group briefs Airmen as they arrive at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 2, 2014. The Airmen, from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, are standing up the 787th Air Expeditionary Squadron to fly humanitarian aid and military support cargo into Liberia as part of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Brian Leach (right) and U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Thomas Kennedy, aerial porters from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, position pallets of arriving cargo outside the Joint Operations Center at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 24, 2014. More than 70 Kentucky Air Guardsmen are operating an Aerial Port of Debarkation in Senegal to funnel humanitarian supplies and military support into West Africa as part of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Brian Leach (right) and U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Thomas Kennedy, aerial porters from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, position pallets of arriving cargo outside the Joint Operations Center at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 24, 2014. More than 70 Kentucky Air Guardsmen are operating an Aerial Port of Debarkation in Senegal to funnel humanitarian supplies and military support into West Africa as part of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Charles Wilding, an aerial porter from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, tightens the chains on a pallet of cargo outside the Joint Operations Center at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 24, 2014. Wilding and more than 70 other Kentucky Air Guardsmen are operating an Aerial Port of Debarkation in Senegal to funnel humanitarian supplies and military support into West Africa as part of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Charles Wilding, an aerial porter from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, tightens the chains on a pallet of cargo outside the Joint Operations Center at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 24, 2014. Wilding and more than 70 other Kentucky Air Guardsmen are operating an Aerial Port of Debarkation in Senegal to funnel humanitarian supplies and military support into West Africa as part of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

A group of service members, including Soldiers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Forward Engineering Support Team based in Wiesbaden, Germany, boards a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 22, 2014. The engineers are bound for Liberia, where they will build medical treatment units as part of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The Soldiers’ departure was coordinated by Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, which operates an Intermediate Staging Base at the Dakar airport. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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A group of service members, including Soldiers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Forward Engineering Support Team based in Wiesbaden, Germany, boards a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 22, 2014. The engineers are bound for Liberia, where they will build medical treatment units as part of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The Soldiers’ departure was coordinated by Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, which operates an Intermediate Staging Base at the Dakar airport. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jarrod Blanford, an aerial porter from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, removes whole blood from a refrigerated storage unit outside the Joint Operations Center for Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 22, 2014. The blood is being sent to Liberia to support U.S. troops deployed for Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jarrod Blanford, an aerial porter from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, removes whole blood from a refrigerated storage unit outside the Joint Operations Center for Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 22, 2014. The blood is being sent to Liberia to support U.S. troops deployed for Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group carry whole blood to a waiting U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 22, 2014. The blood is being sent to Liberia to support U.S. troops deployed for Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group carry whole blood to a waiting U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 22, 2014. The blood is being sent to Liberia to support U.S. troops deployed for Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jarrod Blanford, an aerial porter from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group (left), reviews a cargo manifest with U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Evan Kuehl, a loadmaster from the 86th Airlift Wing, prior to the departure of a C-130 Hercules from Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 22, 2014. The flight is bound for Liberia, carrying whole blood and U.S. Army Soldiers supporting Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jarrod Blanford, an aerial porter from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group (left), reviews a cargo manifest with U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Evan Kuehl, a loadmaster from the 86th Airlift Wing, prior to the departure of a C-130 Hercules from Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 22, 2014. The flight is bound for Liberia, carrying whole blood and U.S. Army Soldiers supporting Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Joshua Orme (left), a special vehicle mechanic for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, and U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Robert Shipp, a power production specialist from the same unit, perform maintenance on cargo-handling equipment outside the Joint Operations Center at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 27, 2014. More than 70 Kentucky Air Guardsmen are operating an Aerial Port of Debarkation in Senegal to funnel humanitarian supplies and military support into West Africa as part of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Joshua Orme (left), a special vehicle mechanic for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, and U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Robert Shipp, a power production specialist from the same unit, perform maintenance on cargo-handling equipment outside the Joint Operations Center at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 27, 2014. More than 70 Kentucky Air Guardsmen are operating an Aerial Port of Debarkation in Senegal to funnel humanitarian supplies and military support into West Africa as part of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Joshua Orme, a special vehicle mechanic for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, reads the electrical schematics for a 25,000-pound Halvorsen Loader while performing maintenance on the cargo-handling vehicle outside the Joint Operations Center at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 27, 2014. More than 70 Kentucky Air Guardsmen are operating an Aerial Port of Debarkation in Senegal to funnel humanitarian supplies and military support into West Africa as part of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Joshua Orme, a special vehicle mechanic for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, reads the electrical schematics for a 25,000-pound Halvorsen Loader while performing maintenance on the cargo-handling vehicle outside the Joint Operations Center at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 27, 2014. More than 70 Kentucky Air Guardsmen are operating an Aerial Port of Debarkation in Senegal to funnel humanitarian supplies and military support into West Africa as part of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Frank W. Tate (left), deputy commanding general of sustainment for Operation United Assistance, speaks with U.S. Air Force Col. David Mounkes, commander of Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal, about JTF-PO operations at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 31, 2014. The JTF-PO, staffed by more than 70 members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, is funneling humanitarian supplies and military support into West Africa as part of the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Frank W. Tate (left), deputy commanding general of sustainment for Operation United Assistance, speaks with U.S. Air Force Col. David Mounkes, commander of Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal, about JTF-PO operations at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 31, 2014. The JTF-PO, staffed by more than 70 members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, is funneling humanitarian supplies and military support into West Africa as part of the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jarrod Blanford, an aerial porter from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, directs the placement of humanitarian cargo in a storage warehouse at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 28, 2014. More than 70 Kentucky Air Guardsmen are operating an Aerial Port of Debarkation in Senegal to funnel humanitarian supplies and military support into West Africa as part of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jarrod Blanford, an aerial porter from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, directs the placement of humanitarian cargo in a storage warehouse at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 28, 2014. More than 70 Kentucky Air Guardsmen are operating an Aerial Port of Debarkation in Senegal to funnel humanitarian supplies and military support into West Africa as part of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force aerial porters from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group strap hundreds of cots to an aircraft cargo pallet at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 29, 2014. The cots are headed to Monrovia to support U.S. military forces engaged in Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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U.S. Air Force aerial porters from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group strap hundreds of cots to an aircraft cargo pallet at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 29, 2014. The cots are headed to Monrovia to support U.S. military forces engaged in Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force aerial porters from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group prepare hundreds of cots for shipment aboard military cargo aircraft at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 29, 2014. The cots are headed to Monrovia to support U.S. forces engaged in Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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U.S. Air Force aerial porters from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group prepare hundreds of cots for shipment aboard military cargo aircraft at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 29, 2014. The cots are headed to Monrovia to support U.S. forces engaged in Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Aerial porters from Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group off-load 85 tons of humanitarian aid from a 747 cargo plane at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 2, 2014. The cargo, which includes medical supplies and troop-support equipment, will be staged in a nearby cargo yard before being airlifted to Liberia aboard U.S. Air Force C-130s in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Aerial porters from Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group off-load 85 tons of humanitarian aid from a 747 cargo plane at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 2, 2014. The cargo, which includes medical supplies and troop-support equipment, will be staged in a nearby cargo yard before being airlifted to Liberia aboard U.S. Air Force C-130s in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Adam Keller, a ramp coordinator for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, checks in-bound cargo against a manifest aboard a 747 cargo plane at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 2, 2014. The cargo, which includes humanitarian aid and troop-support equipment, will be off-loaded by Kentucky Air National Guardsmen and staged in a nearby cargo yard before being airlifted to Liberia aboard U.S. Air Force C-130s in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Adam Keller, a ramp coordinator for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, checks in-bound cargo against a manifest aboard a 747 cargo plane at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 2, 2014. The cargo, which includes humanitarian aid and troop-support equipment, will be off-loaded by Kentucky Air National Guardsmen and staged in a nearby cargo yard before being airlifted to Liberia aboard U.S. Air Force C-130s in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. John Hodge, a ramp coordinator for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, checks in-bound cargo against a manifest aboard a 747 cargo plane at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 2, 2014. The cargo, which includes humanitarian aid and troop-support equipment, will be off-loaded by Kentucky Air National Guardsmen and staged in a nearby cargo yard before being airlifted to Liberia aboard U.S. Air Force C-130s in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. John Hodge, a ramp coordinator for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, checks in-bound cargo against a manifest aboard a 747 cargo plane at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 2, 2014. The cargo, which includes humanitarian aid and troop-support equipment, will be off-loaded by Kentucky Air National Guardsmen and staged in a nearby cargo yard before being airlifted to Liberia aboard U.S. Air Force C-130s in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Aerial porters from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group push pallets of humanitarian aid from the cargo hold of 747 aircraft onto a waiting Halvorsen Loader at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 2, 2014. The cargo, which includes medical supplies and troop-support equipment, will be staged in a nearby cargo yard before being airlifted to Liberia aboard U.S. Air Force C-130s in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Aerial porters from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group push pallets of humanitarian aid from the cargo hold of 747 aircraft onto a waiting Halvorsen Loader at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 2, 2014. The cargo, which includes medical supplies and troop-support equipment, will be staged in a nearby cargo yard before being airlifted to Liberia aboard U.S. Air Force C-130s in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

An aerial porter from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group places a pallet of in-bound humanitarian aid in the cargo yard of Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 2, 2014. The cargo, which includes medical supplies and troop-support equipment, will be airlifted to Liberia aboard U.S. Air Force C-130s in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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An aerial porter from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group places a pallet of in-bound humanitarian aid in the cargo yard of Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Nov. 2, 2014. The cargo, which includes medical supplies and troop-support equipment, will be airlifted to Liberia aboard U.S. Air Force C-130s in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

DAKAR, Senegal -- More than 35 Airmen and two C-130 aircraft from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, arrived here this week to establish the 787th Air Expeditionary Squadron and fly humanitarian cargo into Liberia as part of Operation United Assistance, the mission to fight Ebola in West Africa.

The Dyess Airmen, all from the 317th Airlift Group and 7th Bomb Wing, joined forces with more than 70 Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Contingency Response Group, who have been operating a cargo hub at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar since Oct. 5.

The 787th flew its first sortie into Liberia Nov. 4, airlifting more than 8 tons of medical equipment, stretchers, blood, bleach and other supplies, according to U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Brock, a C-130 pilot and the squadron's commander.

"Our airlift mission here is extremely important, particularly as the number of deployed U.S. forces continues to increase," Brock said. "We will be flying daily sorties into the affected areas to deliver supplies and equipment that are mission-essential, both to the sustainment of troops and to ongoing efforts to contain and eliminate the Ebola outbreak.

"The 787th is executing a noble mission," he continued. "I'm very proud of the team and their professionalism as we've stood up our squadron here. We're excited to work with the 123rd CRG and build on the foundation they've established in Dakar."

Two more C-130 aircraft and about 90 additional Airmen are expected to arrive from Dyess and Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, in the coming weeks, bringing the 787th to full operational capacity for its 120-day mission by the end of the month.

The 787th's Airmen are working in close partnership with their Kentucky Air Guard colleagues, whose primary task is to offload cargo arriving in Senegal by 747 aircraft, stage it for forward movement, and upload it to Dyess C-130s for delivery to Liberia.

Since Oct. 5, the Kentucky troops -- augmented by six active-duty Airmen from Travis Air Force Base, California, and Joint Base Maguire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey -- have coordinated flights for 128 military and civilian-contract aircraft, processed 336 passengers and handled over 600 tons of cargo.

"I couldn't be more pleased by what our Airmen have accomplished in such a short period of time," said U.S. Air Force Col. David Mounkes, commander of the 123rd Contingency Response Group and Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal. "It is especially gratifying to know that we're part of a much larger, global effort to render assistance to people who need our help fighting a horrible disease that has claimed more than 4,000 lives.

"Our unit was created to respond to contingencies of all kinds, from wartime taskings to natural disasters. Every Airman in the group volunteered to join because he or she wanted to be a part of something that can deliver aid where it's needed, when it's needed, as efficiently as possible. This is what we do, and we feel privileged to be able to do it."

U.S. Air Force operations in Senegal are part of a massive "whole-of-government" approach to Operation United Assistance, directed by the U.S. Agency for International Development and incorporating a broad array of federal agencies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the Department of Defense.

The U.S. military has committed to deploying approximately 3,900 troops in support of United Assistance across West Africa. In Liberia, they will staff medical laboratories, provide training to local health-care workers, and build up to 17 100-bed Ebola Treatment Units and a 25-bed hospital.

To date, more than 1,900 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Department of Defense civilian employees and contractors have been deployed to Senegal and Liberia in support of Operation United Assistance.