Austin visits Afghan resettlement base as incoming refugee flights stay halted

Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin visited one of many eight army bases housing Afghan nationals evacuated through the U.S. army withdrawal .

Austin’s journey to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey on Monday marks his first go to to one of many resettlement areas, and it comes in the future earlier than he’s set to testify on Capitol Hill in regards to the withdrawal.


“I wish to specific my private gratitude for all that you have executed on very brief discover to drag collectively a major functionality that can little question affect lots of people’s lives perpetually … You’re, in lots of instances, the primary Individuals that a few of our company actually type a bond with. And so what you [do] makes all of the distinction on the earth,” Austin mentioned to service members, in accordance with the Division of Protection .

“They are going to bear in mind this expertise for the remainder of their lives,” he added. “So, I wish to say — on behalf of our nation, on behalf of the U.S. army, on behalf of the interagency — thanks a lot for what you do to return collectively to work as a crew.”

There are greater than 9,000 Afghans at Joint Base McGuire-Dix, with full capability set at 13,000. All eight bases used to accommodate Afghan refugees will maintain 50,000 as soon as they’re working at full capability.

America has quickly halted inbound flights of Afghan refugees on the Facilities for Illness and Management Prevention after 16 instances of measles and 4 instances of mumps have been reported. Afghans on the bases have gotten vaccinated for measles and COVID-19.

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Secretary of the Air Pressure Frank Kendall, Air Pressure chief of employees Gen. CQ Brown Jr., and Chief Grasp Sergeant of the Air Pressure JoAnne Bass visited the bottom two days earlier than Austin’s go to.

“There was one mission right here and one crew got here collectively,” Kendall mentioned in a assertion . “It combines all the weather once I speak about one crew, one struggle. It was a joint and multi-agency crew giving terrific effort. Native communities are concerned with donations and volunteering. The American crew got here collectively to carry out a mission and did it amazingly.”

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