Minnesota National Guard troops who were set to deploy to Liberia to help the fight against the deadly Ebola outbreak will no longer be making the trip.
“The decision has now been made that the ongoing work of Operation United Assistance does not require several National Guard units that were initially considered for deployment,” Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Adm. John Kirby said in a news release. “We are confident that we can meet the continuing needs of this mission without activating these reserves.”
Initially 700 soldiers from the Rosemount-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division were set to deploy to Liberia in April. That number was cut to about 280, and now the mission has been canceled altogether.
The soldiers weren't going to be directly involved with treatment of Ebola patients, instead they were going to assist U.S. military forces assigned to the area.
The Ebola epidemic, which is the deadliest on record, broke out in West Africa roughly a year ago. As of Jan. 21, the total number of confirmed and suspected cases of the virus are at 21,724, with 8,641 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.