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AUAB supports Afghanistan evacuation efforts

Airman assist Afghanistan evacuees onto a shuttle, Aug. 23, 2021, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.

Airman assist Afghanistan evacuees onto a shuttle, Aug. 23, 2021, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The Department of Defense is committed to supporting the evacuation of American citizens, Special Immigrant Visa applicants and other at-risk individuals from Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Noah D. Coger)

Airman assist Afghanistan evacuees onto a shuttle, Aug. 23, 2021, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.

Airman assist Afghanistan evacuees onto a shuttle, Aug. 23, 2021, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The Department of Defense is committed to supporting the evacuation of American citizens, Special Immigrant Visa applicants and other at-risk individuals from Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Noah D. Coger)

A member from the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing guides qualified evacuees debarking a C-17 Globemaster lll Aug. 23, 2021, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.

A member from the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing guides qualified evacuees debarking a C-17 Globemaster lll Aug. 23, 2021, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The DoD is committed to supporting the U.S. State Department in the departure of U.S. and allied civilian personnel from Afghanistan, and to evacuate Afghan allies to safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kylie Barrow)

A member from the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing guides qualified evacuees debarking a C-17 Globemaster lll Aug. 23, 2021, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.

A member from the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing guides qualified evacuees debarking a C-17 Globemaster lll Aug. 23, 2021, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The DoD is committed to supporting the U.S. State Department in the departure of U.S. and allied civilian personnel from Afghanistan, and to evacuate Afghan allies to safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kylie Barrow)

Qualified evacuees debark a C-17 Globemaster lll Aug. 23, 2021, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.

Qualified evacuees debark a C-17 Globemaster lll Aug. 23, 2021, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The DoD is committed to supporting the U.S. State Department in the departure of U.S. and allied civilian personnel from Afghanistan, and to evacuate Afghan allies to safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kylie Barrow)

U.S. service members distribute food to Afghanistan evacuees, Aug. 23, 2021, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.

U.S. service members distribute food to Afghanistan evacuees, Aug. 23, 2021, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The Department of Defense is committed to supporting the evacuation of American citizens, Special Immigrant Visa applicants and other at-risk individuals from Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Noah D. Coger)

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar --

Since Aug. 14, the Department of Defense has been supporting the evacuation of qualified evacuees from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The Afghanistan evacuation operation is one of the largest airlifts in history, evacuating roughly 58,700 people within the first ten days under volatile circumstances.

The evacuees include U.S. civilian personnel, U.S. Embassy Kabul personnel, U.S. Embassy Other Country Nationals, news agency representatives, Special Immigrant Visa applicants and other at-risk citizens.

Al Udeid Air Base is serving as the primary way station for evacuees in transit.

“With every passing hour, with every plane that lands, we are saving lives,” said Brig. Gen. Gerald Donohue, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing commander. “We are going to keep bringing them here, caring for them and moving them forward.”

Members of the installation and outside agencies, such as the State Department and U.S. Embassy, support the operation and remain focused on performing at the highest standard in order to evacuate as many people as possible.

“This is the second Berlin Airlift,” said Donohue. “We have a surge of people coming who need our help. Circumstances may be rough right now, but our country, what it stands for, this is it. We will remember this for the rest of our lives. And I wouldn’t want to do it with any other team.”