The Pentagon announced Thursday it will deploy three infantry battalions, or roughly 3,000 troops, to assist with the reduction of American civilians at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, and the evacuation of Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants from the country.
The battalions are already in the region, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said during a press conference. They will move to the Hamid Karzai Airport in Kabul within the next 24-48 hours. Two of the battalions are Marine battalions while the third is an Army battalion. They will join the 650 U.S. troops already in Kabul.
In addition, a joint Army and Air Force support element of around 1,000 personnel will help with the processing of the SIV applicants, Kirby said. The element would move into Qatar in the coming days, he said.
Lastly, an infantry brigade combat team will deploy to Kuwait to be “postured and prepared if needed to provide additional security at the airport,” Kirby added. That brigade combat team would arrive sometime in the next week, he said.
“These forces are being deployed to support the orderly and safe reduction of civilian personnel at the request of the State Department and to help facilitate an accelerated process of working through SIV applicants. This is a temporary mission with a narrow focus,” he said. – READ MORE