After the Department of Defense granted approval for two more Virginia military facilities to process Afghan refugees, half of the total number of refugee resettlement facilities in the United States will be located in the Commonwealth.
“The Department of Defense has authorized two additional military installations in Virginia to house Afghan refugees — Marine Corps Base Quantico and Fort Pickett, a National Guard training center an hour southwest of Richmond,” according to Military.com.
Fort Lee in Prince George County was already on the list of military facilities preparing to handle the influx of an unknown number of refugees from Afghanistan, which is expected to be in the tens of thousands.
Those refugees are fleeing Afghanistan after the United States’ tumultuous withdrawal of troops from the war-torn nation, which led to a swift Taliban takeover before U.S. citizens and Afghan allies could exit the country.
“The Defense Department continues to support the State Department in providing temporary housing, sustainment, and support inside the United States for up to 50,000 Afghan Special Immigration Visa applicants, their families and other at-risk individuals,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell reportedly said.
The other facilities that will process Afghan refugees are Fort Bliss in Texas, Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.
Refugees are already arriving for processing at the six locations nationwide, as the final remaining American troops in Afghanistan push to evacuate American citizens and Afghan refugees by the original August 31 deadline set by the Biden Administration.
Those evacuation efforts were complicated by a Thursday morning Islamic State terror attack, which killed 13 U.S. troops and wounded 18 more. The total death toll from the bombing is 160 at the time of publication, and officials have confirmed that there was only one suicide blast, not two, as was previously reported by several news outlets.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Afghan People” by USACE Afghanistan Engineer District-South. CC BY-SA 2.0.