Local troops return from West Africa

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Fanta Williams, 633rd Medical Operations Squadron medic, salutes Col. John J. Allen Jr., 633rd Air Base Wing commander, during a homecoming ceremony at Langley Air Force Base, Va., Oct. 20, 2014. Airmen assigned to the 633rd Medical Group deployed to West Africa in support of Operation United Assistance, where they delivered and built the Air Force’s Expeditionary Medical Support System. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aubrey White/Released)

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Locally based troops are back in Hampton Roads after being sent to Liberia to help the country fight Ebola.

Around 3 a.m. Monday, members of the 633rd Medical Group arrived at Langley Air Force Base, after about a month overseas.

Photos: Langley airmen return from West Africa

The group was part of the United States’ effort with the World Health Organization to help countries in West Africa contain the Ebola outbreak. While they didn’t treat patients exposed to the virus, they helped build an EMED facility, which is like a small hospital.

“None [of the airmen] have had contact with Ebola patients, and their contact with the local populace has been extremely limited,” said Col. John J. Allen Jr., 633rd Air Base Wing commander. “Additionally, these returning Airmen have been the beneficiaries of the joint task force’s very thorough healthcare monitoring protocols since the day they arrived in Africa. As expected, none are exhibiting any symptoms of the Ebola virus disease, and all are considered to have no known exposure to the disease.”

The field hospital the airmen set up can treat up to 6,500 patients.

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