Camp Atterbury now on list to receive Afghan refugees

Camp Atterbury has been approved as a site to temporarily house Afghan evacuees in support of Operation Allies Refuge, the Secretary of Defense announced yesterday.

The Defense Department, through U.S. Northern Command, has agreed to provide the State Department with transportation and temporary housing, sustainment, and support inside the United States for Afghan special immigrant visa applicants, their families and other at-risk individuals. That will be at suitable facilities, in permanent or temporary structures, as quickly as possible.

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb said that as Hoosiers, we are proud to do our part and provide a temporary home for Afghan evacuees who have supported this nation.  He said “Our federal partners are taking necessary and appropriate steps to establish that there is a smooth process to allow these men, women and children to quickly find their permanent home across the United States.

Holcomb said he has faith in the Indiana National Guard’s ability to support this federal mission.

Task Force Atterbury, consisting of active-duty and National Guard service member, will provide housing, medical, logistics, and transportation when the Afghans arrive.

Congressman Greg Pence yesterday said on Twitter that over the coming week, capacity at Camp Atterbury will built to support about 5,000 people. Northern Command estimates that Camp Atterbury will reach initial operational capability in the next few days.

Camp Atterbury joins Fort Pickett, Marine Corps Base Quantico and Fort Lee in Va.; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort McCoy, Wis.; Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.; and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in N.J. to provide temporary housing and support for up to 50,000 Afghans.