A year ago: Looking back at the largest non-combatant evacuation in AF history

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  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- It's been a year since the Air Force conducted the largest non-combatant evacuation in it's history. Although the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center wasn't involved in the actual airlift, the AFIMSC team was heavily involved, often behind the scenes, in helping Afghan refugees at the Ramstein Air Base air hub in Germany, and state-side resettlement camps as they navigated their new normal. 

  • The Air Force Civil Engineer Center's Air Force Contract Augmentation Program team, that includes the Air Force Installation Contracting Center's 772nd Enterprise Sourcing Squadron, jumped to action knowing very little -- bed-down a lot of people at yet-to-be determined facilities for an unknown period of time. “We placed ourselves in the position of a person who had scaled the wall at Kabul Airport with just the clothes on their back,” said Wayland Patterson, AFCAP chief. “We surmised the worst situation they could be facing. They had nothing.”
  • AFCEC's Civil Engineer Maintenance Inspection and Repair Team was instrumental in providing power to thousands at Holloman AFB, New Mexico, making sure they had safe, livable conditions at a temporary encampment. 
  • AFCEC's environmental experts made sure environmental assessments were done before refugee camps in Texas, New Mexico and New Jersey, were built to ensure the temporary homes were safe for the men, women and children. 
  • The Air Force Security Forces Center stepped in to provide security infrastructure and logistics support with more than $11 million in installation base defense capability sets to keep refugees safe once they arrived at resettlement camps in the United States. Teaming with AFICC, the AFSFC also helped fill an urgent need for mobile guard booths to fill a deficient discovered during a force protection assessment conducted prior to the arrival of the refugees.
  • A member of  AFIMSC's Expeditionary Support Division was called upon to help 70,000+ Afghan refugees process through Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. “The thing that will stick with me the most is the compassion our Airmen displayed daily. Many were witness to tough personal situations that they didn’t necessarily have the skills to handle, but they helped our Afghan guests find the care they needed,” said Maj. Victoria Villa.

Follow the links for more on each of these efforts.