While the Obama Administration, to include the Chuck Hagel led Department of Defense (DoD), scramble to brainstorm their latest effort to check the spread of the Ebola virus, the Wall Street Journal is reporting on Oct. 19, 2014 of Team Obama unveiling plans for a 30 person media dubbed medical SWAT team to respond nation-wide should the deadly fever rear its ugly head. Yet the Breitbart.com news portal on Oct. 10, 2014 and The Daily Mail (of London, UK) on Oct. 9, 2014, both cite Ebola emergency contingency plans former President George W. Bush had in place as far back as 2004, but the 2008 in-coming Obama crew essentially ignored until it eventually died on the vine.
So far, the latest Obama response plan is a Pentagon-led domestic medical team that consists of five military doctors, 20 nurses and five trainers. Besides the beefed-up medical squad, Obama has already sent thousands of active duty troops to West Africa reportedly to construct housing units and “assist” as ordered. Acting as Commander-in-Chief, Obama has also issued an Executive Order paving the way for the activation of possibly thousands of Reservist and National Guard troops for deployment to the African hot zone.
Despite the much ballyhooed moves by the Obama Administration, a handful of news organs are reminding the masses of Dubya’s almost forgotten Project Bioshield, a $5.6 billion project that was, in part, designed to combat a global Ebola threat. As noted by The Washington Times earlier this month, in documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, it was revealed that the 2007-2008 Obama transition team essentially dismissed recommendations to carry on with Bush’s plan of 18 regional centers. In the almost six years since, The Times notes, “Neither the White House nor the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC, responded to messages about the recommendation for 18 regional centers.”
Possibly lost in the shuffle of troops deployed and/or called up for duty in Africa, would be little known Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF) of the II Marine Expeditionary Force. Boasting 500 Marines strong, the Command is unique as the only unit in the entire Armed Forces specifically designed “in fulfilling the mission of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High-Yield Explosive (CBRNE) consequence management.”
According to the official Marine Corps website, the battalion “is prepared to respond with minimal warning” to any nuclear, biological or chemical event world-wide. The same site also notes “CBIRF has six major sections organic to the battalion: Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Technical Search and Rescue, Decontamination, Medical, Identification and Detection, and Search and Rescue/Casualty Extraction.” In a 2012 visit, the Commanding Officer for the U.S. North Command, Navy Admiral James Winnefeld said of the Indian Head, Maryland-based command, CBIRF is “one of the most unique capabilities our nation has” (see video).