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Defense Department Orders Six U.S. Commercial Airlines to Aid with Afghan Refugee Evacuation

Evacuees stage sooner than boarding a C-17 Globemaster III for the length of an evacuation at Hamid Karzai World Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 18, 2021. (Lance Corporal Nicholas Guevara/USMC)

The Department of Defense has ordered six industrial airlines to ship passenger jets to attend with the evacuation of Afghan collaborators and refugees from conflict-torn Afghanistan.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, invoking the Civil Reserve Air Rapid established in 1952 after the Berlin Airlift for the length of the Cold War, requested civilian airliners provide 18 planes to again transfer evacuees who like already exited the nation to locations in Europe and the Heart East, the Pentagon announced Sunday. Per the program’s stipulation, the quick can also additionally be activated in a time of “main national defense emergency.”

The activation is for 18 jets: four from United Airlines; three every from American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, and Omni Air; and two from Hawaiian Airlines.

“CRAF activation provides the Department of Defense earn valid of entry to to industrial air mobility resources to lengthen our enhance to the Department of Command in the evacuation of U.S. electorate and personnel, Special Immigrant Visa candidates, and other at-possibility individuals from Afghanistan,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby talked about in a assertion. He added that the Pentagon doesn’t interrogate disruption to industrial-flight operations as a of the airlines nice the orders.

Captain John Perkins, a spokesman for the defense force’s Transportation Pronounce, advisable the Recent York Cases on Sunday that the industrial airliners would start carrying passengers on Monday or Tuesday. The planes will now no longer approach at or leave from Kabul, given the escalating chaos on the bottom, however will instead transport thousands of Afghans arriving at U.S. bases in Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

Once the refugees attain the Heart Eastern bases, the airliners would enhance the defense force quick of C-17s, C-5s, and KC-10s flying Afghans to their final destinations in European countries love Germany, Italy, and Spain, as well to the USA, officers advisable the Cases.

Perkins talked about that some airlines had volunteered airplane of their very have accord last week to expedite the transfer-out. Given the broad size of the evacuation mission, Austin asked more airlines to bewitch part in the Civil Reserve Air Rapid call and provide mighty, high ability planes, the Cases confirmed.

Scott Kirby, the chief executive of United Airlines, wrote on social media, “As a global airline and flag carrier for our nation, we embody the responsibility to mercurial acknowledge to world challenges love this one.”

Ship a tip to the suggestions group of workers at NR.

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