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pentagon: Pentagon intensifies efforts to evacuate families of Defence Dept service members, civilians from Afghanistan


WASHINGTON: The Pentagon has intensified efforts to evacuate families of Defense Department service members and civilians from Afghanistan, media reports said.
The Pentagon has created a system to track the number of immediate family members who remain there more than two months after the US withdrawal, reported CNN.
With the withdrawal of the forces from Kabul at the end of August, the Pentagon’s efforts to evacuate the American citizens and allies from the war-torn country ended too. The US State Department has been leading the evacuation effort since then and working with the US allies such as Qatar to continue the evacuation process, reported CNN.
The State Department said last week that it was in touch with 289 remaining Americans in Afghanistan of whom 81 are ready to leave the country, CNN reported citing Deputy Secretary for Management Brian McKeon’s statement to the House lawmakers.
Meanwhile, the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, in a memo, asked the Defense service members and civilians to submit relevant information via email about their family still in Afghanistan. The collection of the data within the purview of the Undersecretary of Defence will ease the passing of information on to the State Department, which would lead the efforts in evacuating the Americans from the country.
“I think it’s safe to say … that we would expect dozens of service members would have concerns over family members,” CNN quoted Pentagon press secretary John Kirby as saying at a news briefing.
However, there is still no clarity on the number of extended family members of the US troops and Defense Department civilians, reported CNN citing a defence official.
The Pentagon said that it will assist the State Department and the coordinator for Afghanistan relocation efforts for the extended family “as they develop mechanisms that may facilitate the safe departures for such individuals from Afghanistan in the future,” reported CNN.
“Given the current situation in Afghanistan and the absence of an in-country US embassy presence, there are a number of challenges related to departures of Afghan nationals, including those of unique interest to DoD. However, DoD, will continue to provide support in this relocation effort to the greatest possible extent,” CNN quoted Kahl as saying.

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