Nearly 2,700 Afghan evacuees leave naval bases in Spain and Italy
Stars and Stripes
September 3, 2021
Sailors stationed at Naval Station Rota, Spain, greet evacuees from Afghanistan after their arrival at the base aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III, Sep. 1, 2021. (John Owen/U.S. Navy)
Nearly 2,700 Afghan evacuees temporarily housed at U.S. Navy bases in Spain and Italy have departed for America, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa said Friday.
About 1,900 evacuees have left Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily and another 750 have departed Naval Station Rota in Spain, said Capt. Tamara Lawrence, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa spokeswoman.
A sailor stationed at Naval Station Rota, Spain, directs a child evacuee from Afghanistan to a check-in station after his arrival at the base aboard a U.S. Air Force KC-10 Extender, Sept. 1, 2021. ( Nathan Carpenter/U.S. Navy)
Evacuees from NAS Sigonella and NS Rota are flown to Washington Dulles International Airport or Philadelphia International Airport. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is overseeing resettlement of evacuees, who initially are processed through several U.S. military bases, according to the department’s website.
U.S. service members assist evacuees from Afghanistan as they depart a U.S. Navy Boeing C-17A Clipper at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, Aug. 28, 2021. (Kegan E. Kay/U.S. Navy)
Lawrence said the number of evacuees at NAS Sigonella and NS Rota changes several times each day with multiple flights arriving and departing from each base. NAS Sigonella has a maximum capacity of 4,000 persons with NS Rota at 3,000, neither of which have been exceeded, Lawrence said.
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Angie Smith carries a sleeping baby down from an Airbus A320 aircraft carrying evacuees from Afghanistan to Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, Aug. 29, 2021. (Kegan E. Kay/U.S. Navy)
Four U.S. military bases in Europe have accepted nearly 38,000 Afghan evacuees during the past two weeks with about half already in the U.S.
Evacuees from Afghanistan depart a U.S. Air Force KC-10 Extender after landing at Naval Station Rota, Spain, Aug. 31, 2021. (Nathan Carpenter/U.S. Navy)
A U.S. Navy sailor interacts with a child evacuated from Afghanistan as they wait to check-in after arrival at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, Aug. 27, 2021. ( Caine Storino/U.S. Navy)
USO volunteers offer stuffed toys to an evacuee from Afghanistan as she arrives at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, Aug. 28, 2021. (Claire DuBois/U.S. Navy)
Alison Bath reports on the U.S. Navy, including U.S. 6th Fleet, in Europe and Africa. She has reported for a variety of publications in Montana, Nevada and Louisiana, and served as editor of newspapers in Louisiana, Oregon and Washington.