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Kentucky Air Guardsmen support 101st Airborne Soldiers as they depart Senegal for Ebola-response mission

A group of 30 U.S. military personnel, including Marines, Airmen, and Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division, board a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 19, 2014. The service members are bound for Monrovia, Liberia, where U.S. troops will construct medical treatment units and train health care workers 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. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

A group of 30 U.S. military personnel, including Marines, Airmen, and Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division, board a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 19, 2014. The service members are bound for Monrovia, Liberia, where U.S. troops will construct medical treatment units and train health care workers 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. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Gary J. Volesky (right), commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division, speaks with U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Bruce Bancroft (left) and U.S. Air Force Col. David Mounkes of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group Oct. 18, 2014, during a tour of the Joint Operations Center for Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal. The JTF-PO is funneling 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 respond to the Ebola outbreak. Volesky will serve as the new commander of the U.S. military’s Operation United Assistance Joint Forces Command, headquartered in Liberia, where the Department of Defense is sending 3,000 troops to support the mission. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Gary J. Volesky (right), commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division, speaks with U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Bruce Bancroft (left) and U.S. Air Force Col. David Mounkes of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group Oct. 18, 2014, during a tour of the Joint Operations Center for Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal. The JTF-PO is funneling 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 respond to the Ebola outbreak. Volesky will serve as the new commander of the U.S. military’s Operation United Assistance Joint Forces Command, headquartered in Liberia, where the Department of Defense is sending 3,000 troops to support the mission. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Fitzpatrick (left), a surgeon assigned to a Forward Resuscitive Surgical System unit, and U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Tony Hayden, an aerial porter from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, secure cases of red blood cells and frozen plasma to a C-130 cargo pallet at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 10, 2014, in support of Operation United Assistance. The medical supplies and Fitzpatrick’s unit are bound for Liberia to support Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response AFRICOM. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Fitzpatrick (left), a surgeon assigned to a Forward Resuscitive Surgical System unit, and U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Tony Hayden, an aerial porter from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, secure cases of red blood cells and frozen plasma to a C-130 cargo pallet at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 10, 2014, in support of Operation United Assistance. The medical supplies and Fitzpatrick’s unit are bound for Liberia to support Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response AFRICOM. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Meghan Donahue, a member of a fly-away security detail from the 435th Air Expeditionary Wing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, provides overwatch of a Ramstein C-130 Hercules aircraft as U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Alex Vincent, an aerial porter from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, prepares to load a pallet of red blood cells and frozen plasma on the aircraft Oct. 10, 2014, at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal. The Airmen are 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 Tech. Sgt. Meghan Donahue, a member of a fly-away security detail from the 435th Air Expeditionary Wing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, provides overwatch of a Ramstein C-130 Hercules aircraft as U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Alex Vincent, an aerial porter from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, prepares to load a pallet of red blood cells and frozen plasma on the aircraft Oct. 10, 2014, at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal. The Airmen are 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 Senior Airman Alex Vincent, an aerial porter from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, drives a pallet of packed red blood cells and frozen plasma to a waiting C-130 Hercules aircraft on the flight line at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 10, 2014, in support of Operation United Assistance. Vincent and more than 70 other Kentucky Airmen are operating Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal to funnel humanitarian supplies and military support into West Africa as part of the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to respond to the Ebola outbreak there. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Alex Vincent, an aerial porter from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, drives a pallet of packed red blood cells and frozen plasma to a waiting C-130 Hercules aircraft on the flight line at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 10, 2014, in support of Operation United Assistance. Vincent and more than 70 other Kentucky Airmen are operating Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal to funnel humanitarian supplies and military support into West Africa as part of the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to respond to the Ebola outbreak there. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Aerial porters from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group load a pallet of red blood cells and frozen plasma onto a C-130 Hercules aircraft from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 10, 2014, at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal. The aerial porters are part of Joint Task Force-Port Opening Sengal, an air cargo hub that’s funneling humanitarian supplies and equipment into West Africa in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to respond to the Ebola outbreak there. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Aerial porters from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group load a pallet of red blood cells and frozen plasma onto a C-130 Hercules aircraft from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 10, 2014, at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal. The aerial porters are part of Joint Task Force-Port Opening Sengal, an air cargo hub that’s funneling humanitarian supplies and equipment into West Africa in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to respond to the Ebola outbreak there. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group offload cargo pallets from a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft assigned to the 60th Air Mobility Wing, Travis Air Force Base, Calif., as part of ramp operations at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 18, 2014, in support of Operation United Assistance. The Airmen are operating an Intermediate Staging Base in Dakar to funnel humanitarian aid and military support cargo into affected areas, working in concert with Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element to staff a Joint Task Force-Port Opening as part of the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to respond to the Ebola outbreak. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group offload cargo pallets from a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft assigned to the 60th Air Mobility Wing, Travis Air Force Base, Calif., as part of ramp operations at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 18, 2014, in support of Operation United Assistance. The Airmen are operating an Intermediate Staging Base in Dakar to funnel humanitarian aid and military support cargo into affected areas, working in concert with Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element to staff a Joint Task Force-Port Opening as part of the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to respond to the Ebola outbreak. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Michael Skeens, a command post controller for Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal, coordinates air movement from a mobile airfield operations center Oct. 18, 2014, at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal. Skeens and more than 70 other Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group are operating a cargo hub in Senegal to funnel humanitarian supplies and military support equipment into West Africa as part of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to respond to the Ebola outbreak. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Michael Skeens, a command post controller for Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal, coordinates air movement from a mobile airfield operations center Oct. 18, 2014, at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal. Skeens and more than 70 other Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group are operating a cargo hub in Senegal to funnel humanitarian supplies and military support equipment into West Africa as part of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to respond to the Ebola outbreak. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Col. David Mounkes (right), a Kentucky Air National Guardsman and commander of Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal, discusses the unit’s mission with U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Mark D. Harnitchek, director of the Defense Logistics Agency, inside the JTF-PO Joint Operations Center at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 10, 2104. The JTF-PO, a joint effort between the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group and the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element, is funneling humanitarian supplies and equipment into West Africa as part of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to respond to the Ebola outbreak there. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Col. David Mounkes (right), a Kentucky Air National Guardsman and commander of Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal, discusses the unit’s mission with U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Mark D. Harnitchek, director of the Defense Logistics Agency, inside the JTF-PO Joint Operations Center at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 10, 2104. The JTF-PO, a joint effort between the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group and the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element, is funneling humanitarian supplies and equipment into West Africa as part of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development-led, whole-of-government effort to respond to the Ebola outbreak there. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group remove the transport wheels from a mobile airfield operations center at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 17, 2014, in support 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 Airmen are operating an Intermediate Staging Base in Dakar to funnel humanitarian aid and military support equipment into affected areas, working in concert with Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element to staff a Joint Task Force-Port Opening. (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 remove the transport wheels from a mobile airfield operations center at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 17, 2014, in support 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 Airmen are operating an Intermediate Staging Base in Dakar to funnel humanitarian aid and military support equipment into affected areas, working in concert with Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element to staff a Joint Task Force-Port Opening. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Matthew Hourigan of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group installs leveling jacks on a mobile airfield operations center at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 17, 2014, in support 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 Airmen are operating an Intermediate Staging Base in Dakar to funnel humanitarian aid and military support equipment into affected areas, working in concert with Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element to staff a Joint Task Force-Port Opening. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Matthew Hourigan of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group installs leveling jacks on a mobile airfield operations center at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 17, 2014, in support 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 Airmen are operating an Intermediate Staging Base in Dakar to funnel humanitarian aid and military support equipment into affected areas, working in concert with Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element to staff a Joint Task Force-Port Opening. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group set up a mobile airfield operations center at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 17, 2014, in support 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 Airmen are operating an Intermediate Staging Base in Dakar to funnel humanitarian aid into affected areas, working in concert with Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element to staff a Joint Task Force-Port Opening. (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 set up a mobile airfield operations center at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 17, 2014, in support 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 Airmen are operating an Intermediate Staging Base in Dakar to funnel humanitarian aid into affected areas, working in concert with Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element to staff a Joint Task Force-Port Opening. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Col. David Mounkes, a Kentucky Air National Guardsman and commander of Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal, discusses the unit’s mission with a delegation representing the U.S. Agency for International Development at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 16, 2104. The JTF-PO is funneling humanitarian supplies and equipment into West Africa as part of Operation United Assistance, the international effort to fight Ebola. USAID is the lead federal agency coordinating the U.S. government’s multi-agency response. (U.S. Air National Guard photo illustration by Maj. Dale Greer)
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U.S. Air Force Col. David Mounkes, a Kentucky Air National Guardsman and commander of Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal, discusses the unit’s mission with a delegation representing the U.S. Agency for International Development at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 16, 2104. The JTF-PO is funneling humanitarian supplies and equipment into West Africa as part of Operation United Assistance, the international effort to fight Ebola. USAID is the lead federal agency coordinating the U.S. government’s multi-agency response. (U.S. Air National Guard photo illustration by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Michael Skeens, a command post controller for Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal, uses a satellite phone to coordinate air movement Oct. 14, 2014, at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal. Skeens and more than 70 other Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group stood up a cargo hub in Senegal Oct. 5 that is funneling 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 respond to the Ebola outbreak there. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Michael Skeens, a command post controller for Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal, uses a satellite phone to coordinate air movement Oct. 14, 2014, at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal. Skeens and more than 70 other Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group stood up a cargo hub in Senegal Oct. 5 that is funneling 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 respond to the Ebola outbreak there. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

DAKAR, Senegal -- The commander of the 101st Airborne Division and more than 30 of his troops departed from Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport here Oct. 19 en route to Liberia, where they will join hundreds of U.S. service members engaged in the fight against Ebola in West Africa.

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Gary J. Volesky, commanding general of the 101st, will take charge of the Joint Forces Command for Operation United Assistance upon arrival in Liberia, replacing U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams, commander of U.S. Army Africa.

"Operation United Assistance is a critical mission," Volesky said. "We will coordinate all of the Department of Defense resources in Liberia in support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. government's lead agency in this mission, and the government of Liberia to contain the Ebola virus and, ultimately, save lives."

The Army is sending approximately 700 Soldiers from the 101st as part of the effort, including members of the division headquarters staff, sustainment brigade, combat support hospital and military police battalion, according to Volesky. Another 700 troops will be deployed from multiple engineering units to build 17 100-bed medical treatment units and a 25-bed hospital.

Volesky's flight to Liberia was supported by Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal, part of an Intermediate Staging Base that stood up operations here Oct. 5. The JTF-PO's mission is to funnel humanitarian aid and military support into West Africa in support of Operation United Assistance, according to Air Force Col. David Mounkes, the unit's commander.

"I couldn't be more proud of the professionalism and unique capability that all the members of our United States Transportation Command JTF-PO team have exhibited in this dynamic and challenging environment," said Mounkes, a Kentucky Air National Guardsman. "JTF-PO Senegal stands ready to continue supporting the international response and humanitarian aid the United States and partner nations are bringing to the effort to alleviate human suffering and contain the spread of Ebola."

The JTF-PO is staffed by more than 70 Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Contingency Response Group, based in Louisville. The Kentucky troops are augmented by seven active-duty Airmen from Travis Air Force Base, California, and Joint Base Maguire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.