There was a pause of flights leaving Kabul because of a temporary resource and personnel capacity issue at one of the stopover locations, but flight operations have resumed, Army Maj. Gen. William "Hank" Taylor said.
The civilian evacuations in Afghanistan involve one of the largest and most difficult airlifts in history, and the only country in the world capable of projecting that much power is the United States, President Joe Biden said in a televised address to the country.
DOD is working with the State Department, partners, and allies to evacuate U.S. and Afghan citizens from Afghanistan.
Strategic readiness is vital to mission success and should be woven into everything the Defense Department does, the assistant secretary of defense for readiness said.
U.S. and Qatari defense leaders discussed events in Afghanistan as well as a wide range of issues in the Middle East during Pentagon meetings.
The Defense Department has the capacity and the capability to move as many people out of Afghanistan as possible, and the number of aircraft is not a limiting factor, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said.
The U.S. military footprint at Hamid Karzai International Airport has expanded to 5,200 troops, and there are now more gates for entry onto the field, a Defense official said. This will help ensure safe and efficient operations for evacuees.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, both served in Afghanistan and spoke of their feelings during a news conference focused on the non-combatant evacuation operation underway in Taliban-controlled Kabul.
The Department of Defense is laser-focused on operations at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said during a Pentagon news conference.
The crisis in Afghanistan remains fluid and dynamic and it is ever-changing, Pentagon Spokesman John F. Kirby said in an operational update of U.S. military operations in that country.