Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor, deputy director of the Joint Regional Operations, said that around 16,000 people have been evacuated out of Kabul over the last 24 hours using both military and commercial charter flights.
“As of this morning, within the last 24 hours, 25 US military C-17s, three US military C-130s, and then a combination of 61 charter commercial and other military flights departed Kabul. The total passenger count for those flights was approximately 16,000. Of that number, the US military transported just under 11,000 personnel,” Taylor said during a Pentagon news briefing.
Taylor also said that five flights with approximately 1,300 passengers landed at Dulles International Airport near Washington, DC, in the past day.
US military installations at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, Fort Lee, Virginia, Joint Base McGuire-Dix, Lakehurst, New Jersey, and Fort Bliss, Texas are taking Afghans as they come into the US for further processing.
Taylor said the focus of the mission remains to ensure a “a steady flow of evacuees out of Kabul to the intermediate staging bases and safe havens at our insulations” that continue to “rapidly build out capacity as needed to ensure reception and providing humanitarian assistance.”
Evacuees are being sent to temporary safe haven locations across Europe and the Middle East that include US installations in Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Italy, Spain and Germany, ” Taylor said.
“We deeply appreciate the support from these countries. This is truly a testament to the importance of our alliances and our partnerships,” Taylor said.
CNN’s Michael Conte contributed reporting to this post.