In an effort to speed up the evacuation efforts in Afghanistan, the Pentagon has ordered several commercial airlines to assist with flying Americans and refugees out of the country that has fallen into chaos.
On Sunday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered the US Transportation Command to activate stage one of its Civil Reserve Air Fleet program to help with evacuations. This command activates 18 commercial flights that will fly Americans, vulnerable refugees, and Special Immigrant Visa applicants out of the country.
The Pentagon stressed that the commercial flights will not fly in and out of the airport in Kabul or any other dangerous areas. In a statement, the Pentagon said the commercial flights will “be used for the onward movement of passengers from temporary safe havens and interim staging bases.”