BURLINGTON COUNTY, N.J. (CBS) — The first group of at-risk Afghan refugees arrived at New Jersey’s Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst overnight Wednesday. Afghan refugees are now being temporarily housed at four military installations in the U.S. including, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, Fort Bliss in Texas, and Fort Lee in Virginia.
The arrivals are expected to continue throughout the day Wednesday and the days following.READ MORE: Ninth Annual Brad Fox 5K Run Returns After Virtual Year Due To COVID-19
Task Force McGuire-Dix is building capacity as the Army North, Northern Command, and the Department of Defense also work to build additional capacity at Fort Lee, Fort Bliss, Fort McCoy and potentially other military locations as required, the media relations chief at Fort McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst says.
Numerous flights are bringing Afghan evacuees to 4 military bases around the nation — @USAGMcCoy, @FortBlissTexas, @ArmyFortLee & @jointbasemdl. NORTHCOM’s priority is building capacity to receive and support these vulnerable Afghans. https://t.co/f0cjh6A6RB pic.twitter.com/ICv8FBTcKz
— U.S. Northern Command (@USNorthernCmd) August 23, 2021
As of Wednesday morning, the White House says approximately 19,000 people were evacuated from Kabul from 3 a.m. Aug. 24 to 3 a.m. on Aug. 25. Since Aug. 14, the U.S. has evacuated approximately 82,000 people on U.S. Military coalition flights and since the end of July the country has re-located approximately 87,900 people.
Since August 14, the U.S. has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of approximately 82,300 people on US military and coalition flights. Since the end of July, we have re-located approximately 87,900 people on US military and coalition flights.READ MORE: Mets, Phillies Minor Leaguers Protest Pay With Wristbands
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 25, 2021
CBS3 recently looked into the process for Afghan refugees coming to the Philadelphia region and who will be helping them once they arrive.
For the refugees flying into Fort Dix, the Department of Human Services connects them to refugee resettlement organizations like HIAS or Nationalities Service Center, that work to get them settled here in Philadelphia.
“We communicate with landlords, get them settled in,” Antonia Moffa, with the Nationalities Service Center, said. “We provide household goods, furniture, food, hygiene products, anything they’ll need to get set up then we provide job readiness training, English classes.”
Officials tell CBS3 that evacuees who are American citizens, or green card holders, are not required to stop at military bases and some of them are already on their way to destinations including Philadelphia.
The Nationalities Service Center says one family arrived in our area on Monday and they expect others in the days to come.MORE NEWS: 2 Teens Injured In West Philadelphia Shooting, Vehicles, Apartment, Struck By Gunfire, Police Say
CBS3’s Alecia Reid contributed to this report.