Did the DoD prepare for a US Ebola pandemic before April?

BioFire Diagnostic s BioSurveillance Program   JBAIDS System
BioFire Diagnostics JBAIDS System. Click image to see full size.

[M]any will probably accuse me of wearing my tinfoil hat while I write this, but I’m about to ask a legitimate question: With Ebola only beginning to spread in West Africa, why did Congress issue biological diagnostics kits to our National Guard in all 50 states before April? Oh, you didn’t know that? Here’s a quote from a House of Representatives Armed Services Committee document relative to a statement to them by Carmen J. Spencer, Joint Program Exec. Officer for Chemical and Biological Defense:

To address the need for a near term capability to combat emerging threat materials, we have already provided Domestic Response Capability kits to the National Guard weapons of mass destruction civil support teams resident in all 50 states. These kits provide emerging threat mitigation capability that includes detection, personnel protection, and decontamination. [emphasis added]

If I understand the purpose of this document, the statement is part of an explanation for budgetary requests for FY 2015. Syria and the threat of biological/chemical warfare is also mentioned, but why send the biokits to the National Guard? This document is dated April 8, 2014, and it states that these kits had already been distributed.

President Obama has just signed an Executive Order that activates reserve and guard troops for deployment to West Africa. Are they going to help or to learn? Probably both.

I can’t say for certain if the kits sent to the Guard units are the same as the brand pictured in this article, but here is a picture of a unit that must be similar, and the description at the website, lists Ebola as one of the pathogens that can be detected using the kit. What can we take away from this?  At the very least, it indicates that the DoD has been preparing the National Guard for a biological or chemical event, either overseas (during a planned deployment) or domestically.

Let’s pray that neither becomes a reality.