The Secretary of Defense has approved Camp Atterbury in Indiana as a site to temporarily house 5,000 Afghan evacuees in support of Operation Allies Refuge.
Camp Atterbury, located about 40 miles south of Indianapolis, 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.
The Defense Department, through U.S. Northern Command, agreed to provide to the Department of State transportation and temporary housing, sustainment, and support inside the United States for Afghan special immigrant visa applicants, their families and other at-risk individuals at suitable facilities, in permanent or temporary structures, as quickly as possible.
“As Hoosiers, we are proud to do our part and provide a temporary home for Afghan evacuees who have supported this nation,” Gov. Eric Holcomb 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. I have faith in the Indiana National Guard’s ability to support this federal mission.”
Task Force Atterbury, consisting of active-duty and National Guard service members supporting this federal mission, will provide housing, medical, logistics, and transportation when the Afghans arrive.
“Our Hoosier Guardsmen are honored to join our fellow Americans to help, assist and host Afghans who played an integral part and helped us for nearly 20 years,” said Brig. Gen. Dale Lyles, Indiana National Guard adjutant general. “We also look forward to working alongside our active-duty counterparts, and members of national, state, and local agencies as we support the Department of Homeland Security mission.”
Indiana Representative Greg Pence says the camp will have things set up within the next week, but did not say exactly when the evacuees will arrive.