48th Chemical Brigade Assumes Command Of  Operation United Assistance

By Captain Chi L. Truong
Unit Public Affairs Representative, 48th Chemical Brigade

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
March 25, 2015



Soldiers of the 48th Chemical Brigade uncase the unit’s colors as the
Brigade took command of Operation United Assistance from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).   Photo by Captain Chi L. Truong, Unit Public Affairs Representative, 48th Chemical Brigade.

The 48th Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) Brigade has uncased its colors and assumed command of the Operation United Assistance (TAC-OUA) mission from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

Monrovia, Liberia, March 20, 2015 “Today’s uncasing ceremony is a milestone in the history of the 48th Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) Brigade since its activation at Fort Hood a little over seven years ago,” Col. Sven C. Erichsen, commander of the 48th said. “This marks its first operational deployment to Liberia, in support of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. effort to help Liberia rid itself of the Ebola epidemic. I can think of no more noble a mission to be a part of than this one.”

48th CBRN Brigade will, in the Colonel’s words, “ensure that the work 101st started is brought to completion, and the goodwill they’ve built with our U.S. and international partners is preserved.”   Col. Erichsen reminded the guests, which included Sheila R. Paskman, Deputy Chief of Mission of the
U.S. Embassy Monrovia, and Brig. Gen. Frank Tate, Deputy Commanding General of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), of how far Liberia had come in the past several months. “Recall from September of last year that Liberia was brought to its knees by the Ebola epidemic,” Col. Erichsen said.  “Thousands of people suffering, scores more cases identified every day, and a mortality rate as high as 70% -- with no end in sight.  Predictions were apocalyptic.  Into the storm stepped the 101st.” 


“Six months later, as the Spartans (the 48th Chemical Brigade) assume the mission from the 101st, Liberia is well on the road to recovery,” he said. “The actions of the Screaming Eagles (members of the 101st), their U.S. and international partners, and of the Liberians themselves to stem the tide of disease represent nothing short of a miracle.”  


For the sake of our dying and suffering population, Liberia is truly in need of help at this time. Notwithstanding, I wish our policy makers could use this opportunity in urging our U.S. partners to share the technical know-how with our local medical teams so that they instead can be able to handle these kinds of crises without extensive help from the outside world always. The old Chinese saying holds true that, if you give a man a fish daily, you are only instilling extreme dependency in him. However, if you teach him to catch the fish by himself, then you will be doing him a great service for lifetime.

No individual or group of individuals will be interested in the advancement of our nation more than ourselves. Liberians themselves must take the initiative.
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