The Pentagon announced on Friday that additional military bases in the United States would be used to help support evacuation operations from Afghanistan.
“The Department of Defense may announce that it is authorized for Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., Fort Pickett, Va., And Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, to provide additional support to the US mission to evacuate Afghan special immigrant visa applicants, their families. , and other people at risk, ”Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters at a briefing.
Kirby said the three new bases join Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, Fort Bliss in Texas and Fort Lee and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey to provide support, with a capacity of up to 50,000 applicants. special immigrant visa for Afghans and other evacuees.
The Department of Defense will continue to support the State Department by providing temporary housing and support to the United States for a capacity of up to 50,000 Afghan special immigrant visa applicants, their families and other people at risk, ”Kirby said.
“The Northern Command of the United States will coordinate the details of all of this with the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and of course the Department of Health and Human Services if necessary,” Kirby said.
He added that “he will provide, to the extent possible, under the authority of presidential withdrawal, additional support being provided on a repayable basis.”
Evacuees from Afghanistan are expected to arrive in Virginia in two of the new temporary housing on Saturday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said on Friday.
Northam said Fort Pickett has the capacity to house up to 3,800 refugees. Quantico is currently equipped to accommodate 1,000 people, but can be expanded to accommodate up to 5,000 people, according to Northam’s announcement.
Evacuees are tested for Covid-19 upon arrival, unless they can prove a negative test result within the past 72 hours.
According to Northam, only 20 people have tested positive in the 11 days since the start of Virginia’s repatriation program.
CNN has contacted to confirm the number of refugees the state has accepted so far.
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