Across Europe, eight military installations in four nations stand ready to take on as many as 25,000 evacuees coming out of Afghanistan, Air Force Gen. Tod D. Wolters said during a briefing today at the Pentagon.
The eight locations include Ramstein Air Base, Rhine Ordnance Barracks, Spangdahlem Air Base, U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr, and U.S. Army Garrison Hohenfels, in Germany; as well as Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy; Naval Station Rota, Spain; and Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo.
Right now, it’s Ramstein and Sigonella that have been receiving evacuees, Wolters said. Ramstein alone can house up to 12,000 evacuees at a time.
The German installation has received 55 incoming flights, and currently has more than 5,700 evacuees on site. The general also said that more than 1,600 evacuees have departed Ramstein for the United States. In Italy, there are about 662 evacuees awaiting onward movement.
“This is a whole-of-government, whole-of-nation, whole-of-partner, whole-of-ally process,” he said. “The trust and transparency that we’ve constructed over the course of the last several decades, in particular with our NATO allies and partners, has paid huge dividends with respect to the effectiveness of this operation.”
The general said the assistance of Germany, Italy and Spain have been particularly effective in helping the U.S. carry out the evacuation mission.