Carlton serving overseas in fight against Ebola outbreak
For The Record
The name of one Orange County resident serving overseas to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa may ring a bell to many. Major Brint Carlton, Republican nominee for Orange County judge and assistant district attorney is currently stationed in Italy to assist in containing the deadly disease. Carlton doesn’t face any opposition for the General Election in November and he’s a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
“My regular unit, the Joint Enabling Capabilities Command (JECC), Joint Planning Support Element (JPSE), Naval Station Norfolk, Va., sent a team of joint military planners to assist U.S. Army Africa (USARAF) in Vicenza, Italy and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) in Stuttgart, Germany in the planning of Operation UNITED ASSISTANCE,” Carlton replied via e-mail.
Operation UNITED ASSISTANCE is the U.S. military humanitarian response supporting the USAID-led comprehensive U.S. Government and international effort to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. “As detailed in national and international news reports, this is the worst Ebola Virus outbreak in history. I am working in the USARAF Joint Operations Center (JOC) located at Caserma Del-Din Army Garrison, Vicenza, Italy,” he wrote.
Carlton further explained the responsibilities of the medical section of the USARAF JOC involve helping to identify the local medical capabilities in Liberia and Senegal, coordinating the construction of a military field hospital in Monrovia, Liberia to be run by the U.S. Public Health Service.
“Established throughout Liberia, the many medical training sites which will teach the local population health workers how to properly protect themselves while caring for infected patients, and planning the aeromedical evacuation process for U.S. personnel who may become sick or injured in the affected areas of Liberia and Senegal,” Carlton stated. “I am the aeromedical evacuation specialist and lone Air Force medical service officer in the USARAF JOC. This process is obviously complicated and is being coordinated with the Department of Defense, Department of State, USAID, the Government of Liberia, the Government of Senegal, and many other entities.”
Carlton said the group from his unit does not have an exact return date as of yet, and dates have not been released.
President Barack Obama announced he dispatched 3,000 U.S. troops to the region with health care and aid workers in an effort to contain the deadly virus, in the Sept. 16, 2014 edition of USA Today.
The expanded, $763 million, military-led plan will include a new regional U.S. base in Liberia; portable hospitals, laboratories and other medical facilities; and increased training for first responders and other medical officials throughout West Africa. It’s the largest response to an international epidemic in U.S. history, Obama said after meeting with the nation’s top public health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
“In West Africa, Ebola is now an epidemic of the likes that we have not seen before. It’s spiraling out of control. It is getting worse. It’s spreading faster and exponentially,” he said.
The president said the solution is within grasp.
“The world knows how to fight this disease,” Obama said. “It’s not a mystery. We know the science. We know how to prevent it from spreading. We know how to care for those who contract it. We know that if we take the proper steps, we can save lives. But we have to act fast. We can’t dawdle on this one.”
The conditions on the ground in Italy where Carlton is stationed are “obviously fine and the facilities well established.” “USARAF is a very professional host and taking very good care of everybody here,” he said. He added U.S. military personnel’s morale in Italy and Africa is high.
“Everybody is working long hours, getting very little time off (one day off in the last 15 days), and sacrificing time away from family, but everybody I have talked to is extremely honored to have the opportunity to help the people of Africa in such an historic humanitarian operation. It is a great way to further show the world the tremendous humanitarian capabilities of the United States, to help thousands of people by putting our experience and education to use in a complicated and evolving environment, and to gain more experience in planning, management, leadership, decision-making, interacting with other governmental entities, etc.,” Carlton said.
“We realize the importance of this mission, the great responsibility entrusted in each of us by the United States, and the hope we bring to the people of Liberia and Senegal.”
Carlton’s supervisor, District Attorney John Kimbrough, said other attorneys in the department are covering Carlton’s caseload during his military service “It’s the same for everyone. We use a team approach and we cross-train them (ADAs),” Kimbrough said.
Kimbrough also said his office has to honor Carlton’s military service by law and he admires his ADA’s military service to the country.