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Afghanistan Evacuation Support

As the last U.S. service members departed Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 31, U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) continued moving evacuees from temporary safe havens onward to the United States. The United States and partnering countries evacuated approximately 124,000 people to safety.

Air Mobility Command, USTRANSCOM’s air component, continues providing airlift support for evacuees. Aircraft include those used for military transportation, such as C-17s and C-130s, and aerial refuelers such as the KC-135s and KC-10s. Approximately 400 active duty, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve crews have flown evacuees to safety.

Quotes from U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Lyons, Commander, U.S. Transportation Command

Quote from U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Frank McKenzie, Commander, U.S. Central Command

Commercial Partners

Commercial airlines, both from the United States and other countries, have played a vital role in moving Afghanistan evacuees from staging locations onward to the United States. U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) recognizes that our ability to respond in times of crisis is inextricably linked to commercial industry.

On Aug. 22, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III ordered USTRANSCOM to activate Stage I of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) to augment support to the Department of State in the evacuation of U.S. citizens, Special Immigrant Visa applicants, and other at-risk individuals from Afghanistan. American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, Omni Air, Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines contributed a total of 18 commercial aircraft. The activation of commercial airplanes under CRAF ended on Sept. 12. Our air component, Air Mobility Command (AMC), coordinated flight schedules during the activation and continues to coordinate international and domestic flights relocating evacuees into the United States.

USTRANSCOM consistently communicated with airline leadership to coordinate flight schedules and manage the intricacies of this complex operation. We appreciate the tireless work of the flight crews, aircraft cleaning teams, ground crews and all employees of the airline industry committed to this effort, working with us to safely move our Afghan partners and their families. Our capability to successfully carry out this mission is dependent on the critical capacity industry partners provide in extending our global transportation network. Together, we deliver!

Latest Updates

On Sept. 12, Stage I of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) activation ended. Commercial airline partners continue to play a vital role in transporting evacuees from staging locations in Europe and the Middle East to the United States.

On Aug. 31, the last U.S. C-17 aircraft departed Kabul marking America’s departure from Afghanistan and the end of the largest non-combatant evacuation operation airlift in history.

On Aug. 26, USTRANSCOM supported the medical evacuation of U.S. servicemembers and Afghan nationals following an attack by the Islamic State Khorasan (known as ISIS-K) at HKIA. USTRANSCOM is the Department of Defense’s single manager for global patient movement. Three C-17s carrying aeromedical evacuation crews and Critical Care Air Transport Teams were launched from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, with the first of those taking off only minutes after the incident occurred at HKIA.

On Aug. 22, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III ordered USTRANSCOM to activate Stage I of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) to augment support to the Department of State in the evacuation of U.S. citizens, Special Immigrant Visa applicants, and other at-risk individuals from Afghanistan. CRAF is a National Emergency Preparedness Program designed to augment the Department’s airlift capability and is a core component of USTRANSCOM’s ability to meet national security interests and contingency requirements. American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, Omni Air, Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines contributed a total of 18 commercial aircraft.

On Aug. 15, a C-17 flight set a record by carrying 823 passengers from Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) in Kabul, Afghanistan. On average, one military aircraft has departed HKIA every hour.


USTRANSCOM, industry leaders solidify strategic airlift partnership at CRAF summit

Release #: 20240606-1 Thursday, June 06, 2024
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) hosted government and commercial airline leaders June 5, to discuss strategic airlift readiness and to continue strengthening partnerships. USTRANSCOM Deputy Commander Army Lt. Gen. John Sullivan co-chaired the biannual Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) Executive Working Group (EWG) with Air Mobility Command Deputy …
An Afghan girl lays on the floor of a C-17 Globemaster III near Kabul, Afghanistan. The blouse covering the girl belonged to U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Nicolas Baron, 305th Air Mobility Wing loadmaster, who was a member of the crew that airlifted refugees to safety. (Courtesy photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Mark Lawson)

AMC Announces Additional Awards for Operation Allies Refuge

Release #: 20231108-1 Wednesday, November 08, 2023
SCOTT AFB, Ill. —  Air Mobility Command will award eight Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Star Medals, 229 Air Medals and 98 Meritorious Service Medals for actions taken during Operation Allies Refuge. Some of the medals will be presented during a private gathering at the 2023 Airlift Tanker Association Convention, in Grapevine, Texas, Nov. 9, 2023. Those being awarded …
Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, front left, commander of U.S. Transportation Command, and Army Maj. Gen. Cheryn Fasano, front center, 11th and final Joint Transportation Reserve Unit commander and now mobilization assistant to Van Ovost, poses with members of the JTRU prior to the unit’s deactivation. (U.S. Transportation Command photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Allison Paris)

USTRANSCOM’s reserve force charts new era

Release #: 20231023-1 Monday, October 23, 2023
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) deactivated its Joint Transportation Reserve Unit (JTRU) during a ceremony on Oct. 21, following three decades of service. The JTRU's mission was to enhance USTRANSCOM's ability to project and sustain military power at a time and place of the nation's choosing. Its deactivation will allow a realignment to a Reserve …
Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost, commander of U.S. Transportation Command, one of 11 combatant commands in the Department of Defense, visits the U.S. Air Force memorial in Arlington, Virginia, March 6, 2023. (U.S. Air Force photo by J.M. Eddins Jr.

Command interview: Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, USTRANSCOM

Release #: 20230323-1 Thursday, March 23, 2023
Gen. Van Ovost is the 14th Commander of U.S. Transportation Command, one of 11 combatant commands in the Department of Defense. USTRANSCOM’s mission is to project and sustain military power globally in order to assure our friends and allies, deter potential adversaries, and if necessary, respond to win decisively. Gen. Van Ovost has a diverse operational and training background which …

USTRANSCOM Year in Review 2022

Release #: 20221222-1 Thursday, December 22, 2022
Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, commander, U.S. Transportation Command, and Fleet Master Chief Donald O. Myrick, senior enlisted leader, cut a birthday cake to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the command at USTRANSCOM headquarters, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., Sept. 29, 2022. With its global reach, USTRANSCOM spans the world in logistics by integrating and employing mobility forces to rapidly project combat power at the time and place of our country's choosing. (photo by Oz Suguitan/Released)


Release #: 20221003-1 Monday, October 03, 2022
An Afghan child sleeps on the cargo floor of a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III during an evacuation flight from Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 18, 2021. Operating a fleet of Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and Active Duty C-17s, Air Mobility Command, in support of the Department of Defense, moved forces into theater to facilitate the safe departure and relocation of U.S. citizens, Special Immigration Visa recipients, and vulnerable Afghan populations from Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

Looking back at the command’s historic effort that moved 124K to safety

Release #: 20220825-1 Thursday, August 25, 2022
U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 721st Aerial Port Squadron load luggage onto an American Airlines aircraft during Operation Allies Refuge at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Aug. 27, 2021. Civil Reserve Air Fleet Aircraft are being used for the onward movement of evacuees from temporary safe havens and interim staging bases. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Donald Barnec)

Civil Reserve Air Fleet is critical to national security

Release #: 20220822-1 Monday, August 22, 2022
A U.S. Air Force aircrew, assigned to the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, assists qualified evacuees aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft in support of the Afghanistan evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Afghanistan, Aug. 21, 2021. The Department of Defense 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.

75 Years of Mobility Operations

Release #: 20220311-1 Friday, March 11, 2022
U.S. soldiers, airmen and civilian staff at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center near Ramstein Air Base, Germany, receive casualties who were medically evacuated from Kabul, Afghanistan, after U.S. service members and Afghan civilians were injured in a series of attacks outside of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul Aug. 26 and evacuated to LRMC for further care. Photo by Marcy Sanchez, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center

USTRANSCOM patient movement teams save lives during historic NEO

Release #: 20211001-1 Friday, October 01, 2021
U. S. Army Gen. Steve Lyons, United States Transportation Command commander, speaks to Airmen of the 621st Contingency Response Wing at Travis Air Force Base, California, Sept. 23, 2021. The Airmen recently arrived back on base after deploying in support of Operation Allies Refuge in Kabul, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Dennis Hoffman)

USTRANSCOM commander recognizes contingency response Airmen

Release #: 20210927-1 Monday, September 27, 2021
Air Force Maj. Gen. Corey Martin, currently director of operations for U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), took a moment to reflect on the attack that occurred 20-years ago.

Maj. Gen. Corey Martin Remembers 9-11

Release #: 20210910-1 Friday, September 10, 2021

USTRANSCOM supports evacuation of 124K people in historic airlift

Release #: 20210902-1 Thursday, September 02, 2021
A newborn baby is being looked after prior to being taken off a C-17 Globemaster III, august 23 at a Middle East staging area. A 315th Airlift Wing aircrew from Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina helped to deliver a baby aboard a Charleston C-17 Globemaster III carrying vulnerable Afghans evacuated from Afghanistan, Aug. 23, moments before landing at a Middle East staging area.  (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

‘Baby on board’ – Aircrew deliver Afghan baby on evacuation flight

Release #: 20210831-1 Tuesday, August 31, 2021
U.S. Army Gen. Stephen R. Lyons, commander, U.S. Transportation Command, briefs members of the Pentagon Press Corps Aug. 23, 2021, during a virtual media conference regarding airlift evacuations from Afghanistan. (Graphic image)

Fast-Paced Airport Ground Ops Keeps Evacuees Moving

Release #: 20210824-1 Tuesday, August 24, 2021

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