Skip to main content

Ebola fight: Minnesota National Guardsmen to deploy to Liberia

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Nearly 700 soldiers in the Minnesota National Guard are being deployed to Liberia in the spring to help with the fight against the Ebola virus.

They are members of the Rosemount-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and will be deployed for about six months beginning in April, according to a news release from the Minnesota National Guard.

The soldiers will not be directly involved with treatment of Ebola patients, but will "synchronize the operations, logistics, personnel and resources of the U.S. military forces assigned to the area," according to the release.

"And importantly for the Liberian people, the Minnesota National Guard presence will provide confidence that something can and will be done to stop the spread of disease, said Army Maj. Gen. Rick Nash, the adjutant general of the Guard.

The troops will receive specific medical training and use special protective equipment to protect them from exposure to the virus.

"Preserving the health of our soldiers is the highest priority for this mission," said Army Maj. Gen. Neal Loidolt, commanding general of the 34th Infantry Division.

Gov. Mark Dayton released a statement Sunday evening regarding the deployment.

“President Obama has assigned our nation's very best, the Minnesota National Guard, to perform this critical mission in West Africa. Their heroic work will protect the health and safety of Americans here at home and of people throughout the world.

"I thank these Minnesota heroes for their service. I want to assure them and their families that we will do everything possible to ensure their successful mission and their safe return to their loved ones.”

National Guard leaders will discuss the deployment in more detail at a Monday morning news conference.

In recent years, thousands of Red Bulls were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as well as peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Kosovo.

The Minnesota Guard deployment is part of a larger callup of 2,100 Army National Guard and Army Reserve forces that was authorized by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Units from several other states, including California, Iowa, Ohio, Kansas and Texas will also be deployed.

Next Up


Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.


FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.


State announces $2.5M in grants for child care providers

Child care providers in roughly a dozen communities will receive funds to help grow the supply of affordable, quality child care.


Probe of Golden Valley police uncovers racism, alleged misconduct

One officer was terminated for alleged racist comments and violations of state law.

blowing snow

Blowing snow Friday in Minnesota; will it snow next week?

Winds could gust up to 50 mph Friday afternoon and night.

Deer hunting blaze orange

To combat CWD, late-season deer hunting announced for 9 areas of MN

The special hunts will be held between Dec. 16 and 18.


COVID levels rising in wastewater; BQ.1 now dominant

BQ.1 is the new dominant subvariant in Twin Cities wastewater.

Screen Shot 2022-12-02 at 11.43.05 AM

Keith Ellison, other AGs settle with CarMax over recall disclosures

As part of the settlement, CarMax now must disclosure open recalls online and on the lot.

police lights squad car

Man kidnaps 2-year-old daughter in St. Paul, crashes after pursuit in Minneapolis

The incident involved both police departments in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

police lights

Boys aged 15, 16 arrested after shooting of teen in Woodbury

The victim suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.