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Afghan evacuees begin arriving Fort Bliss; more expected over next few days

UPDATE: FORT BLISS, Texas -- Afghanistan refugees evacuated by the U.S. government from Kabul began arriving at Fort Bliss on Saturday, with officials saying more arrivals were expected in the coming days.

"This morning, special immigrant visa applicants, their families and other individuals at risk arrived at Fort Bliss," said a statement issued Saturday evening by the Public Affairs Office at Fort Bliss. "We expect these arrivals to continue throughout the day and the coming days."

Bliss is one of three military installations recently tapped by the federal government for temporarily "housing vulnerable Afghans" upon their arrival in the U.S.

While officials didn't say exactly how many refugees were anticipated to be housed at Fort Bliss, they did indicate that a significant number of U.S. Army personnel at the post were being utilized in the effort.

"Approximately 1,000 service members from the 1st Armored Division Headquarters, the Fort Bliss Garrison Headquarters, the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, the 528th Hospital Center, and the 93rd Military Police Battalion, will assemble to provide support to Operation Allies Refuge at Fort Bliss.," said the statement.

ORIGINAL REPORT: WASHINGTON, DC -- So far, 17,000 people have been evacuated from Kabul since Aug. 14, including 2,500 Americans, officials said during a Pentagon briefing on Saturday.

President Biden had previously estimated that up to 15,000 Americans were needing to be evacuated, though Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby acknowledged Saturday that "we don't have a perfect figure of how many are in Afghanistan."

In the last 24 hours, 38 flights -- including six U.S. Military C-17s and 32 charters -- departed from Kabul with approximately 3,800 passengers total, White House officials said. Flights are now headed to Qatar and other destinations.

Three flights arrived at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. on Friday night, some carrying Afghans headed to Fort Bliss in El Paso for further processing on Saturday, Gen. Hank Taylor, deputy director of the Joint Staff for Regional Operations, told reporters during the Pentagon briefing with Kirby.

Since the end of July, the U.S. has relocated approximately 22,000 people from Afghanistan, according to the White House.

As officials have previously indicated, plans call for housing evacuated Afghans and their families at three U.S. Army installations in the continental United States. Those locations are El Paso's Fort Bliss along with Fort McCoy in Wisconsin and Fort Lee in Virginia.

KVIA ABC-7

ABC News

Comments

62 Comments

      1. You don’t even know what a MAGA is nitwit. Trump didn’t bring them here. Your buddy senile Joe did. Get help for that Mango Mussolini Syndrome aka TDS. You helped create the debacle by voting for senile Joe.

          1. You don’t know jack nitwit. Traitor? You don’t even know what a traitor is. It is any Communist or leftist like you.

          2. You that daft? Alito did not block it. He held it up for full SCOTUS review. It’s called due process nitwit.

          1. It was not an insurrection nitwit. It was a mostly peaceful protest. You won’t get real news from CNN or MSNBC. Stop spreading fake news.

  1. I hope they actually put “real” security on these people. They haven’t been vetted for the most part and undoubtedly, some will be terrorists.

  2. Wait….Jan 6 wasn’t initiated by maga freaks and Agent Orange??? Then what were all those Yuuuuge Trump flags flying in the wind. What the hell did those goofy red hats spell if not maga, the war cry of Agent Orange and his minions! Justice Department and FBI are trying to appease Conservatives by not DIRECTLY blaming Trump and his minions (wink, wink) for the little commotion at the Capitol building. But…we know better!

    1. FBI said it wasn’t organized and that Trump didn’t instigate it. It wasn’t an insurrection. Some crisis actors were let into the Capital by Capital Police and some stupid Trump supporters fell for it and followed them. Thats it.

        1. Believe what you want. The truth is clear. There was no insurrection and Trump DID asked protesters to remain peaceful. Sorry you are so driven by hatred.

          1. McConnell, Graham and McCarthy initially all put the blame for the Insurrection on Agent Orange. Until they had a Buyers Remorse moment and back tracked their comments. Hate or Love have have no place in my comments. Just presenting facts as they are, and not as I would like them to be.

          2. Mango Mussolini Syndrome must s.u.c.k. You probably will have it for life. Serves you right.

  3. For the holidays we should have adopt an Afghan. Madmike and his 4 peeps can lead the way since they praise the military all the time.

      1. How’s that Trump,Taliban Peace Deal working out??? Chump Trump fell for Taliban lies Hook, Line, and Sinker. Led Biden to believe the Taliban would be good boys and let USA withdraw.

        1. Oh look it’s Alberto the nitwit nobody. Senile Joe trashed Trump’s plan. He wouldn’t be in such a mess if he kept it and followed it. Your buddy senile Joe owns this debacle. He makes Jimmy Carter look good.

  4. Trump left a hell of a mess for Biden to fix. Biden is a President, not a miracle worker. To bad that all Trump zombies are stuck in Trumpland. They should all just move on and face reality. What reality? Trump is a Loser and loves having other losers around him to make him feel like a winner. Just like Bush left a garbage pile for Obama to shovel away. Republicans are not for fixing America, they are for the Rich, the Corporations and for White pride , not for the common American.

    1. Trump did fix America. And Trump left a plan that would have allowed successful removal of all Americans from Afghanistan. Biden signed 100 Executive Orders I. His first seek that basically destroyed everything that Trump did to Make America Great Again. Biden owns the crisis in Afghanistan that will lead to another 911, the crisis on the border and the rising inflation that will soon lead to a crash in the market. Biden owns the disaster that America has become.

      1. Amazing how the real losers, demoKKKrats, are always ready to cut down the real Americans even when their fraud elected president is burning to the grown. They are nothing but misanthrope sycophants. No self esteem or common sense to realize they have been bitten by the two step snake and are about to meet their demise.

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