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First 90 returnees enter controlled monitoring period after Ebola response

Soldiers look on as service members disembark a bus upon arrival at Langley Transit Center Nov. 13, 2014, at Langley Air Force Base, Va. Service members from multiple branches of the armed forces will undergo a 21-day controlled monitoring period at the transit center after returning from fighting the spread of Ebola in West Africa in support of Operation United Assistance. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason J. Brown)

Soldiers look on as service members disembark a bus upon arrival at Langley Transit Center Nov. 13, 2014, at Langley Air Force Base, Va. Service members from multiple branches of the armed forces will undergo a 21-day controlled monitoring period at the transit center after returning from fighting the spread of Ebola in West Africa in support of Operation United Assistance. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason J. Brown)

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. (AFNS) -- U.S. service members arrived at Joint Base Langley-Eustis' Langley Transit Center Nov. 13 to begin a 21-day controlled monitoring period prior to returning to their home stations.

The group of 90 service members, which included Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines, returned from supporting Operation United Assistance missions combating the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa.

Per direction from the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all military personnel returning to the U.S. from Ebola missions in West Africa will undergo a 21-day controlled monitoring program, where they will be physically separated from family members and the general public.

Commanders and fellow service members greeted the returnees as they arrived as the transit center, congratulating them on a job well done before entering the transit center for in-processing.

The 633rd Air Base Wing recently finished preparation at Langley Transit Center, which will provide comfortable accommodations and routine medical check-ups, including twice-daily body temperature checks, for the returning members during the controlled monitoring period.

While the returning personnel have no known exposure to Ebola patients, the transit center staff has a robust disease monitoring and mitigation plan in place in the event a service member exhibits symptoms consistent with Ebola.

Capt. Jasamine Pettie, who as "camp mayor" will manage the administrative contingent servicing the transit center, said her top priority is the safety, security and well-being of those undergoing controlled monitoring.

"We're the eyes and ears on the ground," Pettie said. "Yes, the personnel are here to be monitored, but we're here to make sure they have what they need to live comfortably. We're making sure they're prepared, know what to do and who to call in case of an emergency."

No additional service members will enter monitoring at Langley Transit Center until the current personnel complete the 21-day period and return to their home stations.

While no announcement regarding additional returnees to Langley Transit Center has been made, Col. John J. Allen, Jr., the joint base installation commander, said the transit center will remain open to accommodate returning personnel "for as long as necessary."

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