SAN ANGELO, TX – The U.S. State Department has named three military bases which will house the first 50,000 refugees from the collapse and failure in Afghanistan and the Department of Defense is looking at other facilities including Goodfellow Air Force Base to support that mission.
According to information released by Goodfellow late Wednesday, "Military departments are continuing to identify potential bases to meet potential expanded need, and will be notified accordingly if Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas is approved to support the Afghan evacuee mission."
So far, Ft. Bliss near El Paso is the only facility housing Afghan refugees in Texas. The Secretary of State has instructed Fort Lee, Virginia; Fort McCoy, Wisconsin; Fort Bliss, Texas; and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey to provide temporary housing and support for the Afghans.
Hundreds of refugees from Afghanistan arrived at Ft. Bliss over the weekend according to reports. Over 650 evacuees from Afghanistan are currently being housed at Fort Bliss and officials have indicated more are expected to arrive this week.
Here is the information released by Goodfellow AFB: "The Secretary of Defense has authorized Fort Lee, Virginia; Fort McCoy, Wisconsin; Fort Bliss, Texas; and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey to provide temporary housing and support for up to 50,000 at risk Afghans. Additionally, DoD, through U.S. Northern Command, has agreed to provide to the Department of State (DOS) transportation and temporary housing, sustainment, and support inside the United States for Afghan special immigrant visa applicants, their families, and other at risk individuals at suitable facilities, in permanent or temporary structures, as quickly as possible. Support will be provided on DoD installations and through the use of assisted acquisition for the use of non-DoD land and facilities. Military departments are continuing to identify potential bases to meet potential expanded need, and will be notified accordingly if Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas is approved to support the Afghan evacuee mission."
"While it is unclear when or even if the teens will be at Goodfellow AFB, the plan calls for converting 75 acres of rangeland into a tent city that will require 7,000 HHS employees spending six months in hotels within 90 miles of the base. The HHS employees would be bussed to Goodfellow to work 12 hour shifts everyday." We reported in 2018.
Housing Afghan refugees is becoming more and more critical as the situation on the ground in Kabul is deteriorating rapidly and there is credible information about an imminent threat of attack at the airport Thursday morning. Fox News is reporting "The possibility of an "imminent attack," perhaps within "hours," loomed over Kabul’s airport on Thursday, according to a British official.
James Heappey, Britain’s armed forces minister, told the BBC on Thursday there was "very, very credible reporting of an imminent attack," possibly targeting the airport in Afghanistan, where tens of thousands of people have been gathering over the past two weeks in hopes of leaving the country."