The 1st AML deployed in October 2014 in support of Operation Unified Assistance, the U.S. effort to contain the most deadly Ebola outbreak in history. Following a 21-day controlled monitoring period on Joint Base Langley Eustis, Virginia, 1st AML Soldiers received a hero’s welcome on Aberdeen Proving Ground. The 1st AML is part of the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives, or CBRNE, Command, the Defense Department’s only multifunctional command that combats global CBRNE hazards.
During the deployment, 1st Area Medical Laboratory Commander Col. Patrick M. Garman led Task Force Scientist, a joint task force, which also included the Naval Medical Research Center, as well as civil affairs and military police personnel. Task Force Scientist tested Ebola samples at six mobile laboratories and provided same day results to health care providers.
Brig. Gen. JB Burton, commanding general of 20th CBRNE Command, said the 1st AML’s successful deployment was the result of months of mission-focused training. “Patrick Garman and his troopers have effectively transformed this formation into a highly skilled, technically savvy, expeditionary formation, capable of moving on short notice to answer the nation’s call.”
Burton said the deployment demonstrated the ability of 20th CBRNE Command forces to combat the full range of CBRNE hazards.
“This deployment, not related to weapons of mass destruction or improvised explosive devices, focused on a non-weaponized ‘B’ [or biological hazard] in CBRNE and it serves as another proud chapter in the history of the 20th CBRNE Command,” Burton said.