Fort Lee ends Afghan resettlement effort

Fort Lee ends Afghan resettlement effort


The final Afghan evacuees to processed through Fort Lee, Virginia, are resettled as of Wednesday, according to the Homeland Security Department.

Lee was the first of eight military installations to begin welcoming Afghans in late July, when the first group of former interpreters and their families arrived. Following a non-combatant evacuation in the final days of the U.S. presence in Afghanistan, roughly 80,000 Afghans have moved stateside for resettlement.

“As we complete operations at Fort Lee, we are incredibly proud of the collaboration that has led to the resettlement of more than 25,000 vulnerable Afghans, including those who worked on behalf of the United States, into local communities across our country,” Robert J. Fenton, Jr., who heads up Operation Allies Welcome, said in a release Wednesday.

Roughly 2,300 Afghans moved through Fort Lee in the past three months, according to DHS.

Seven more installations are still housing Afghans, where they undergo final security checks and medical screening while waiting for more permanent housing. Those include Camp Atterbury, Indiana; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey; Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Pickett, Virginia; Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia; and Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

Many of the evacuees were housed on bases in Europe or at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, before traveling to the U.S. A number of evacuees who need further security screening, along with their families, are being held at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo.

The U.S. and Kosovar governments agreed to house Afghans there for a year.

“I’m not able to speak with detail about how many people are there,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters Tuesday. “I think it is important to remember it’s not ― that there’s a range of different Afghans there, including women and children and family members.”

Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members. Follow on Twitter @Meghann_MT



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Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.