Supporting, Non-Standard Mission Role: U.S. Operations in Liberia, 2014–2015, that Enabled the U.S. and UN Response to the EVD Outbreak

  • January 18, 2018
  • Ms. Alix J. Boucher
  • Doctor Raymond A Millen

Operation UNITED ASSISTANCE (OUA), which deployed to Liberia between September 2014 and June 2015, provides an example of how a Joint Force can support a lead federal agency (LFA), in this case the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and other interagency and international partners to end a raging epidemic of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). This EVD outbreak began in late 2013, when Emile Ouamouno, a two year old from Meliandou, a village in Guinea, close to the border with Liberia and Sierra Leone, died of a hemorrhagic fever.1 Soon after, many of his relatives and their connections, who lived across the region, also became ill and died. In March 2014, a team from the Institut Pasteur in France confirmed that the hemorrhagic fever spreading through the region was EVD. By then, more than 2,400 people had died from the disease. By the time the epidemic ended, in Liberia alone, 15,227 cases of EVD had been confirmed through laboratory tests and 11,310 people had died.