Pentagon building capacity to house up to 50,000 Afghan evacuees in US

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The Department of Defense is building capacity to house up to 50,000 Afghan evacuees on seven different military installations across the United States. (Photo – Department of Defense)

Speaking during a press conference, Air Force Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, commander of U.S. Northern Command, said “The request for assistance from the State Department specifically requested that the Department of Defense provide culturally appropriate food, water, bedding, religious services, recreational activities and other services such as transportation from the port of entry to the location of accommodations, and some medical services as well.”

Gen. VanHerck further added that those services are now either being provided, or will be provided at Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort McCoy, Wisconsin; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey; Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico; and Fort Lee, Marine Corps Base Quantico and Fort Pickett, all in Virginia.

“Right now, capacity at Fort Lee, Fort Bliss, Fort McCoy, and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst stands at about 21,000 persons, though as the other three bases start bringing in evacuees, that number will grow,” Gen. VanHerck said, adding that “The department expects by Sept. 15 to reach the full capacity of 50,000, and it’s possible also that new installations could be opened up to provide additional space if needed.”

He also added that the ports of entry for those evacuees now include both Dulles International Airport in Virginia, and Philadelphia International Airport in Pennsylvania.

Northcom is supporting the Operation Allies Refuge at those transportation hubs by providing services and additional forces, including assisting with managing the flow of evacuees.

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