By Walter T. Ham IV, 20th CBRNE Command Public AffairsJanuary 8, 2015
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Jan. 8, 2015) -- The 1st Area Medical Laboratory is leading a joint task force that is operating six Ebola testing laboratories in Liberia.
Made up of microbiologists and laboratory technicians from the 1st Area Medical Laboratory, or AML, and Naval Medicine Research Center, Task Force Scientist also includes civil affairs and military police personnel.
Task Force Scientist is headed by Col. Patrick M. Garman, the commander of the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland-based 1st AML.
"Its mission is to support the Joint Forces Command-101st in executing its assigned mission of deploying and operating four Ebola testing labs placed throughout Liberia," said Garman, a native of Troy, Ohio.
The 1st AML is part of the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives, or CBRNE, Command, the Department of Defense's only command that combats chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats around the world.
Garman said his troops are working hard in hot and humid weather to support Operation United Assistance, the U.S. effort to contain the most deadly Ebola outbreak in history.
"Morale is high," he said. "Our unit's motto is Soldier - scientist. It takes a well-trained Soldier to deploy an Army lab but it takes a highly educated and professional person to operate a lab."
Garman said the Liberian people are grateful for his task force and the U.S. effort to end the Ebola outbreak.
"The Liberian people are very appreciative that we are here," Garman said. "They want their country to heal and they are grateful the U.S. Army is helping."
"This deployment has been fulfilling in a number of ways, chief among them is that we are not only helping to end the Ebola epidemic but we are also building some infrastructure through Ebola treatment units, labs and healthcare worker training that will help the Liberians keep it from coming back," he said.