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Politics & Government

911th Airlift Wing Joins Operation to Evacuate Kabul Airport

C-130 Hercules
Department of Defense
In this image provided by the Department of Defense, two paratroopers assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division conduct security while a C-130 Hercules takes off Wednesday during an evacuation operation in Kabul, Afghanistan. Reservists from the 911th Airlift Wing, based in Moon, have joined the operation. (Department of Defense via AP)

Reservists and aircraft from the 911th Airlift Wing at the Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station in Moon have joined the operation to airlift thousands of refugees and others who are awaiting evacuation from the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The 911th is one of at least six air wing units from around the country to participate in the evacuation operation to “ensure safe passage of Americans and Afghan allies” from Kabul to other locations around the world, Air Force Reserve Command officials said in a statement Friday night.

The 911th is contributing 17 transport and refueling aircraft — C-17 Globemaster IIIs, C-130 Hercules, C-5M Super Galaxies and KC-10 Extenders — as well as 73 air crews and hundreds of maintenance, security, medical and support personnel to the operation. Reserve command officials described the airlift as one of the largest in history.

Air Force Reserve airmen in many cases are being blended with crew that also include Air Force active duty and National Guard personnel, according to the statement.

Air reserve units from Ohio, South Carolina, Alabama and California also are participating in the operation, which Biden administration officials earlier this week said has transported more than 100,000 U.S. citizens and Afghans since Aug. 14.

Those people include U.S. citizens, civilian allies, Afghans who are applying for special immigrant visas “and other vulnerable Afghans,” reserve command officials said in the statement.