US considers requesting commercial airlines to help evacuate Afghans

US considers requesting commercial airlines to help evacuate Afghans

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration plans to ramp up its airlift from Kabul through preparations to force major US airlines to help transport tens of thousands of people. They were evacuated from Afghanistan as the number of US military bases that could accommodate Afghans increased.

The White House is expected to consider activating the Civilian Reserve Air Fleet, or CRAF, created in 1952 in the wake of the post-WWII Berlin Air Bridge, to provide approximately 20 commercial aircraft from as many as five airlines for the United States’ military service. growing. efforts. Relocate Afghan evacuees from bases in the area, according to US officials.

Officials said officials are studying alternatives to ramp up evacuation efforts, including increasing the number of bases in the area to reduce overcrowding, a move that could increase use by civil airlines or avoid the need for it. Additional military bases in the United States have also been designated to house evacuees.

Officials said civilian aircraft would not fly in or out of Kabul, which fell under Taliban rule on August 15. Instead, commercial airline pilots and crews will help transport thousands of Afghans and others stranded at US bases in Qatar, Bahrain and Germany.

The involvement of commercial aircraft would ease pressure on those bases, which are rapidly filling up with evacuees as the United States expands its efforts to get them out of Kabul airport. Thousands of Afghans are at risk of retaliation by the Taliban for cooperating with US forces that flooded the airport last week.

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