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Md. Army Reservists Deploying To West Africa To Assist In Ebola Efforts

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Helping in the fight against Ebola. More than 100 Maryland Army reservists are heading to West Africa--where more than 5000 people have died from the disease.

Meghan McCorkell has more on how they are preparing.

Training will begin for reserve units out of both Baltimore and Rockville starting in February.

The Ebola outbreak continues to plague West Africa, with 45 new cases reported in Liberia every day.

Now Army reservists from Maryland will be heading overseas to help.

"The soldiers are excited. They're excited to go. They know that this is what they trained for," said Lt. Col. Timothy Hughes.

He commands the 313th movement control battalion out of Baltimore.

The group has deployed to Afghanistan before, but this is a very different kind of mission.

"Our forces, we're prepared to go anywhere and deal with anything that we're called upon to do," Hughes said.

The 313th will help with transporting supplies around the region.

They will not have any direct contact with Ebola patients.

Some 2200 U.S. troops have been deployed to the Ebola hot zone since September.

"Halting the spread of Ebola at the center of the outbreak is the most effective way to keep the American people safe here at home," defense secretary Chuck Hagel said last month.

The U.S. troops are working to set up 17 Ebola treatment centers.

The Maryland soldiers will begin training in February and then spend six months on the ground in West Africa.

But their homecoming won't be typical. After they return to Maryland, the reservists will be placed in quarantine for 21 days.

Just last week troops returning to Fort Bliss, Texas began their isolation period-- the standard incubation period for Ebola.

So far no U.S. troops have fallen ill with the disease.

Soldiers from Aberdeen Proving Ground are already deployed in Liberia.

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