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Kentucky ANG Airmen support 101st Airborne Division’s movement to Liberia

A group of 30 U.S. military personnel, including Marines, Airmen, and Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), board a C-17 Globemaster III Oct. 19, 2014, at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal. 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/Maj. Dale Greer)

A group of 30 U.S. military personnel, including Marines, Airmen, and Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), board a C-17 Globemaster III Oct. 19, 2014, at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal. 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/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 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. The C-130 was from Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/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 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. The C-130 was from Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group set up a mobile airfield operations center Oct. 17, 2014, at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal. The operations are 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/Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group set up a mobile airfield operations center Oct. 17, 2014, at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal. The operations are 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/Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group offload cargo pallets from a C-17 Globemaster III, Oct. 18, 2014, as part of ramp operations at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, 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. The C-17 is assigned to Travis Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group offload cargo pallets from a C-17 Globemaster III, Oct. 18, 2014, as part of ramp operations at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, 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. The C-17 is assigned to Travis Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Maj. Dale Greer)

Master Sgt. Michael Skeens 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. Skeens is a command post controller for Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Maj. Dale Greer)

Master Sgt. Michael Skeens 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. Skeens is a command post controller for Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Maj. Dale Greer)

DAKAR, Senegal (AFNS) -- The Joint Task Force-Port Opening Senegal (JTF-PO) supported the 101st Airborne Division’s departure from Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport here Oct. 19, en route to Liberia, where the division will join hundreds of U.S. service members engaged in the fight against Ebola in West Africa.

JTF-PO Senegal is staffed by more than 70 Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Contingency Response Group and 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 (OUA), according to Col. David Mounkes, the JTF-PO Senegal commander and member of the Kentucky ANG.

The Kentucky ANG Airmen are also augmented by seven active-duty Airmen from Travis Air Force Base, California, and Joint Base Maguire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.

"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," Mounkes said. "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."

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Gary J. Volesky, the commanding general of the 101st AD (Air Assault), will take charge of the Joint Forces Command for OUA upon arrival in Liberia, replacing U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams, the 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 AD 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.

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