WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — The U.S. Air Force 445th Airlift Wing based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is on standby for any potential response related to the evacuations underway in Afghanistan after the Taliban took over the country’s capital city of Kabul over the weekend, according to a spokeswoman.
The spokeswoman said they have not received any specific details on any missions they may be involved with, however the 445th Airlift Wing last went to Afghanistan at the end of June to bring troops out.
The 445th Airlift Wing has made regular trips to Afghanistan using C-17 Globemaster III aircraft to deliver supplies, return wounded troops back to U.S. Wright-Patt has at least nine of the jets based here in the Dayton area.
Since October, they’ve had 14 missions to Afghanistan. That’s about the average number per year, though there was not a set number each year, a spokeswoman said.
The news comes as President Joe Biden will address the nation Monday afternoon about the crisis in Afghanistan.
The Afghanistan President fled the country Sunday bringing an end to 20 years of U.S. military support to transform the area.
The war has spanned four different U.S. Presidents and has taken the lives of more than 2,400 troops since 2001.
In Washington D.C., the government has poured more than $2.2. trillion into the war over the last 20 years.
At this point, everyone has been evacuated from the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. State Department and Department of Defense said the next goal is to get Americans and Afghan allies and their families out of the country’s capital safely.
This week, 6,000 U.S. troops are heading to the city in an effort to assist.
There’s concern Taliban control of the country could lead to a few things - first, the deterioration of human rights for women and girls and second, the country could become a safe haven for terrorists like Al Qaeda.
Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, who directed the Afghan strategy for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama said this is what happens when a government collapses quickly.
“The Taliban as made progress, the government did not. We built security forces that in the end did not stand up, that could not withstand the pressure from the Taliban. I’m afraid we built a house that was built on sand,” Lute told CBS News.
The UN Security Council is holding an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in Afghanistan.
In a statement, Rep. Mike Turner (R-Dayton) called the situation more of a “surrender,” than a withdrawal.
“Now as Afghanistan is falling to the Taliban, we’re not going to have a place from which to operate, either in counterterrorism against ISIS or Al Qaeda or in support of the Afghan national military. This is truly a travesty,” Turner said. “This will be a humanitarian crisis and it will result in a refugee crisis.”
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