President Obama on Thursday authorized the Pentagon to call up members of the National Guard to active duty to help combat the spread of Ebola in West Africa.
Obama said the National Guardsmen would "augment the active forces in support of Operation United Assistance, providing humanitarian assistance and consequence management" in a letter to Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDemocrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit Stopping the next insurrection Biden, lawmakers mourn Harry Reid MORE (R-Ohio).
The Pentagon is likely to tap a team of engineers and logistical specialists from both the active-duty and reserve to help with the construction of 17 Ebola hospitals across Liberia, according to a report from NBC News. Each medial center is to be equipped with 100 beds.
The administration had previously announced plans to establish a military command center in Liberia to support the U.S. effort. Administration officials say up to 4,000 military personnel could be dispatched to the region.
Obama has also said the military plans to create "an air bridge" to get health workers and medical supplies to West Africa faster. A training site could be built for military doctors and nurses to instruct thousands of African aid workers.
Pressure on the administration to combat Ebola has intensified in recent days after a second nurse was diagnosed with the deadly virus.