III Corps deploys 1,000 troops for Afghan evacuee mission

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U.S soldiers stand guard at the airport tower near an evacuation control checkpoint during ongoing evacuations at Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021. The Taliban wrested back control of Afghanistan nearly 20 years after they were ousted in a U.S.-led invasion following the 9/11 attacks. Their return to power has pushed many Afghans to flee, fearing reprisals from the fighters or a return to the brutal rule they imposed when they last ran the country. (AP Photo)

FORT HOOD, Texas – The Department of Defense recently approved a request for assistance from the State Department to provide temporary housing, sustainment, and support inside the United States for specified Afghan Special Immigration Visa applicants and their families, and possibly other vulnerable Afghans, at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, and Fort Bliss, Texas – in addition to Fort Lee, Virginia.

Approximately 1,022 service members from III Corps from Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Carson, Colorado; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; and Fort Riley, Kansas will provide support to Fort McCoy and Fort Bliss to assist in these efforts as part of the task force located there.

U.S. Northern Command is the Department of Defense’s lead combatant command for this mission in the continental United States and is providing oversight in support of the Department of State. U.S. Army North, as U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command, is the lead operational command for this mission. The task force at Fort McCoy and Fort Bliss will provide housing, medical, logistics, and transportation support.

“When our Nation calls, III Corps and Fort Hood answer with action; our troops remain ready to respond to any mission,” said Col. Myles Caggins, III Corps and Fort Hood spokesperson. “The III Corps engineers, military police, medics, and logistics soldiers – men and women – deploying to these temporary housing sites will enable the Department of State to safely and securely process the Afghan evacuees. III Corps Soldiers first deployed to Afghanistan in January 2002 and have continually rotated in the Middle East and South Asia since; the Operation Allies Refuge mission is a challenge our troops are trained for. Helping U.S. citizens, vulnerable Afghans and other evacuees is another example of the vast capability and talent of our III Corps and Fort Hood Soldiers. As part of III Corps’ ‘People First’ initiative, prior to deploying, each soldier when through a standard process for medical screening, financial preparedness, and family support services orientation.”

Units deploying (As of August 23, 2021):

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