WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military is scaling back its planned Ebola response deployments to Liberia from 4,000 troops to 3,000, the U.S. commander in Liberia said Wednesday.
Army Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky told reporters at the Pentagon by phone from Monrovia that the troop total is expected to grow from the current 2,200 to 3,000 by mid-December. It will not grow further, he said.
"There is a lot of capacity here that we didn't know about before," Volesky said, citing private contracting capacity to build facilities supporting the treatment of Ebola victims.
"And so that enabled us to reduce the force" originally foreseen as necessary, he added. "Right around 3,000 is what we're looking at."
Volesky is commander of the 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell, Ky.
Speaking on the same phone call to reporters at the Pentagon, the U.S. ambassador to Liberia, Deborah Malac, said the Ebola crisis in Liberia is not over.
"We are not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination," she said.