Training changes as US troops head to West Africa
FORT HOOD, Texas - U.S. troops preparing for deployment in Liberia are trading their rifles and body armor for rubber gloves, white germ-proof suits and gas masks.
About 500 soldiers are undergoing training Thursday at Fort Hood in Texas ahead of their deployment to West Africa to fight Ebola. Thousands of U.S. troops are already in the region helping fight the disease, which has killed thousands of people.
Some soldiers acknowledged apprehension about a mission focused on stopping a deadly disease rather than combat or counterterrorism. But they also expressed confidence that if any troops do fall ill, U.S. doctors can successfully treat them.
Trainer John McGuffin is helping prepare the soldiers. He joked about the equipment change, saying it felt "like the Goodyear Tire Man or a marshmallow."