President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that the U.S. would commit 3,000 military personnel to coordinate operations to combat the Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 2,400 people in West Africa.
It's a ramped up plan that includes building 17 treatment centers and training for thousands of healthcare workers.
"Our forces are going to bring their expertise in command-and-control, in logistics, in engineering. And our Department of Defense is better at that, our armed services are better at that than any organization on earth," President Obama said, speaking from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
The announcement came as welcomed news for aid organizations that have been on the ground working to stop the spread of the disease in West Africa.
"There's no question this will save lives," says Michael Stulman with Catholic Relief Services in Dakar, Senegal.
But, he added that other nations would need to step in to make up for a massive shortfall in funding.
"We also have to bear in mind that the U.S. is earmarking the majority of the support to Liberia, but of the 4,800 cases across the region, there is also a significant number that are in Sierra Leone and Guinea."
And one of the particular challenges for the U.S. military, according to Stulman, will be gaining the trust of local populations.
"People are scared of Ebola and some people don't trust the governments," Stulman says. "So we need to be cautious as the military is deployed; they have to be aware of these types of dynamics. And they have to work very closely with some of the key stakeholders that have already been on the ground for months... that's absolutely critical."