© United States Marine Corps
As part of a Department of State-led relocation effort known as Operation Allies Welcome (OAW), the last group of Afghan nationals have left a temporary refuge at Marine Corps Base Quantico , Virginia, to make its way to the United States.
The Department of Defense still accommodates approximately 25,000 Afghans in six refuge sites pending relocation: Camp Atterbury, Indiana; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey; Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Pickett, Virginia; and Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. Originally, eight sites were opened to these evacuees, but with the installation of some 49,000 people, Quantico is the second to complete operations.
“As another of our shelters wraps up its operations, we remain steadfast in our commitment to safely welcome our Afghan allies to the United States,” said Robert Fenton, Jr., senior OAW official. “With operations now complete at Marine Corps Base Quantico, I want to thank all of the Federal personnel, military and volunteers who have enabled more than 49,000 Afghan evacuees to begin to rebuild their lives in America. We are grateful for the support the local community has shown to our Afghan allies and the personnel who work with them throughout this historic effort. ”
While accommodated at these DOD sites, Afghans were given access to medical care, resettlement services and the opportunity to apply for work permits. All were vetted and vetted before entry was allowed, including through biometric and biographical checks carried out by intelligence, law enforcement and counterterrorism professionals from various federal agencies. Evacuees received essential vaccines, such as measles, polio and COVID-19, and were tested for COVID-19 upon arrival.