Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey is now ready to receive Afghan evacuees, said the deputy director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for regional operations.
The joint base is the last of four facilities welcoming eligible Afghans seeking special immigrant visas, Army Maj. Gen. William D. “Hank” Taylor said during a press briefing today. morning. The other three are Fort McCoy, Wisconsin; Fort Bliss, Texas; and Fort Lee, Virginia, Taylor said.
The North American Command continues to build its capacity to ensure Afghans are accommodated, Pentagon spokesman John F. Kirby said, noting the goal is to be able to receive around 25,000 within days and weeks. future.
After Afghan evacuees leave Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, they are checked into temporary shelters across Europe and the Middle East, including US facilities in Qatar, United Arab Emirates, in Kuwait, Bahrain, Italy, Spain and Germany.
“We deeply appreciate the support from these countries. It really is a testament to the importance of our alliances and partnerships,” said Taylor.
As of this morning, 25 US C-17 military jets, three US C-130 military jets and a combination of 61 commercial charter and other military flights had left Kabul in the past 24 hours, he said.
The total number of passengers for these flights was around 16,000. Of those, the US military carried just under 11,000 people, he said.
“Our mission remains focused on ensuring a constant flow of evacuees out of Kabul,” Taylor added.
In a statement released today, Captain (N) William Urban, spokesman for US Central Command, said: “No US or coalition forces were injured in a brief exchange of blows. fire at the north gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport last night. The incident appeared to start when an unknown hostile actor fired at Afghan security forces involved in monitoring access to the gate. retaliated and, in accordance with their right to self-defense, US and coalition troops also did.
“A member of the Afghan forces was killed by the hostile actor and several Afghans were injured during the exchange. The injured are being treated in an airfield hospital and are said to be in stable condition.
“Our condolences go out to the teammates and relatives of the deceased Afghan soldier,” he added.
Kirby said U.S. forces continue to maintain open communications with the Taliban to ensure coordination between the Taliban and the U.S. military and facilitate the safe passage of eligible Americans and Afghans to the airport, a process that l The army qualifies as deconfliction.
“What we have seen is that this deconfliction has worked well in allowing access and flow to continue, as well as reducing the overall size of the crowd just outside the airport.” , Kirby said.
In a Defense Department press announcement yesterday, Kirby said the US Transportation Command will activate Phase I of the civilian reserve air fleet.
Activating the CRAF allows the department access to commercial aircraft to increase support to the State Department during the evacuation of U.S. citizens and personnel, SIV candidates, and other at-risk individuals from Afghanistan.
The current activation involves 18 aircraft: three each from American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines and Omni Air; two from Hawaiian Airlines; and four from United Airlines. The department does not anticipate a major impact on commercial flights from this activation, Kirby said.
Aircraft activated by CRAF will not fly to Hamid Karzai International Airport. They will be used to move passengers from temporary shelters and temporary transit bases. Activating the CRAF increases passenger movement beyond organic capacity and allows military planes to focus on operations inside and outside Kabul, Kirby said.