Almost 100 military medics arrive in Sierra Leone today to spearhead Britain's response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa.
The 91 staff from Hampshire’s 22 Field Hospital are among the first of 750 Ministry of Defence personnel due to be deployed in the coming months.
The task force will set up and run a 92-bed treatment facility in Kerrytown about 30 miles (50km) from the capital, Freetown.
British troops will also provide support to a World Health Organisation (WHO)-led training centre and the Sierra Leone Government.
Britain has pledged £125 million to support the outbreak, which has claimed more than 4,000 lives according to the WHO.
The number that left from RAF Brize Norton today includes general nurses, medical technicians, specialist nurses, doctors, infectious disease consultants as well as drivers, chefs, administrators and logistical staff.
Their commanding officer admitted the deployment was not exactly typical:
Ahead of their deployment, members of 22 Field Hospital went through a nine-day intensive training course where they had to deal with life-like scenarios to prepare them for the task in hand.
Britain is sending three Royal Navy Merlin helicopters and crew, to help move equipment and personnel, supported by RFA Argus.
The Royal Navy vessel, which was docked in Falmouth ahead of its crossing this week, carries 350 people including medics and Royal Marines.
The UK has also been delivering essential supplies to the region including vehicles, water tanks, generators, tents and protective clothing.