Holloman AFB to house Afghan refugees

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HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. – Holloman AFB was approved Friday as a site to provide temporary housing for vulnerable Afghan refugees in support of Operation Allies Refuge.

Holloman AFB was approved by the Secretary of Defense as one of seven U.S. military bases that will provide temporary housing and support for, in total, up to 50,000 at-risk Afghans.

According to a senior White House official, the goal is to not have the Afghan refugees "spend anything like months at these sites."

The Holloman AFB task force will provide housing, medical, logistics and transportation support.

Afghan special immigrant visa applicants, their families and other at-risk individuals at suitable facilities will provided support through an agreement between the Department of Defense and the Department of State. The DOD will provide transportation and temporary housing, sustainment and support inside the U.S. to the DOS.

Fort Pickett, Va.; Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.; Fort Lee, Va.; Fort McCoy, Wis.; Fort Bliss, Texas in El Paso; and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. were also approved to temporarily house Afghan refugees.

A desert storm veteran also had strong feelings about the refugees.

"I feel like we have an obligation to the Afghanis that aided us OK we do have an obligation but the process that’s being done right now is not adequate,” said Andrew Davis, Alamogordo resident. "They need to be vetted, they need to be in a contained military base that is off-limits to all outside personal but the base personnel."

Others say they don’t mind as long as the refugees are accounted for.

"As long as they do it the right way and everything and not just bring them over here and let him let them go anywhere in the country, you know," said Craig Maddox, resident.

Every person will get a COVID-19 test – and planning is underway for vaccination efforts.