Pentagon Briefs Nation on Afghanistan

Officials discuss bombing, injuries and loss of life, military support, evacuations, and refugee relocations

Watch the briefing from Defense Department officials. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby and Air Force General Glen D. VanHerck headed up the briefing.

Air Force General Glen D. VanHerck, Commander of the U.S. Northern Command, and Pentagon Press Spokesman John Kirby met Friday afternoon with reporters for another press briefing.  The general outlined the numbers of bases that are accepting Afghan refugees, their capacities, and how they are housed—both hard facilities and soft ones.

At the request of the State Department, they are providing culturally appropriate food and water, religious services, medical services, and other important things to make them comfortable in their new location. 

In some locations, 30 percent of those present are children. The ratio of men to women is about half and half. Many women are pregnant. Clothing and diapers are being provided.   At Fort Bliss, the soldiers had built soccer fields for the children to play. Communities are providing coloring books, puzzles, and other items for children’s education.

One family reported they are sleeping soundly for the first time in a long time.

He said the people arriving in the U.S. have been vetted before they come to the U.S.  Both biometric and other identifiable means have been used in vetting the individuals coming in with special visas. The Department of Homeland Security is ensuring both national security and the security of individual refugees and their families.

He said that all are being tested for COVID-19 before leaving their interim facilities and again on arrival in the United States. Vaccinations are being offered, and many are accepting them.

He thanked the people and volunteers of local communities for stepping up and showing compassion to these people. The members of the military are also showing compassion and empathy for each and every one.

Each person will remain on the base while they continue their special visa immigrant processing and that is being taken care of by the State Department.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For American troops injured in the explosions at the Kabul airport and for the protection of other American military personnel working on the evacuations.
  • For the tens of thousands of people endeavoring to get out of Afghanistan as the August 31 deadline nears.
  • For the numbers of Americans in the country unable to get to Kabul or other rescue and who could be left behind into a probable dire future.
  • For wisdom for the president and his military advisors as the situation unfolds in Kabul.

Sources: Pentagon, Department of Defense, Washington Post, PBS


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