Pentagon orders 18 commercial planes to transport Afghanistan evacuees

Lloyd Austin, Defense Secretary, ordered six US commercial airlines to transport Afghan and American evacuees.
This marks the third deployment of civilian aircraft by the US in its history.

American and Afghan evacuees were sent to Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Central Asia.

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Sunday's order by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to six US commercial airlines to transport Afghan and American evacuees was to activate a little-known program known as the Civil Reserve Air Fleet.

According to a Pentagon statement, the plan calls for 18 aircraft deployments. Three each from American Airlines and Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, Delta Air Lines, Omni Air and Omni Air. Two from Hawaiian Airlines. Four from United Airlines.

According to the Pentagon, the planes won't fly into Kabul but will be used for transporting people who have left Afghanistan. The Pentagon said that the Department of Defense does not expect a significant impact on commercial flights as a result of this activation.

American and Afghan evacuees were sent from Kabul to various countries in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Europe.

It is the third use of the reserve air fleet in the US's 70-year history. This demonstrates the desperate need to help Afghan refugees and citizens. Prior deployments of civilian aircraft by the US were during the Gulf War in 1990 and 1991, respectively.

A week ago, the Taliban took control of Kabul, Afghanistan's capital. This triggered the collapse of the US-backed Afghan government. The US has been trying to evacuate thousands of Americans and Afghans who have aided the US government during the 20-year conflict.

Austin said that the US is trying to expel every American from the country on Sunday, according to ABC News.

CBS News' Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, stated that the US has evacuated 8,000 Afghans in the last 24 hours.