48th Chemical Brigade Assumes Command of Operation United Assistance

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)

Monrovia, Liberia, March 20, 2015 –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).

“Today’s uncasing ceremony is a milestone in the history of the 48thChemical 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 101ststarted 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.”