Medical support personnel from the 86th Medical Group help an Afghan mother and family off a U.S. Air Force C-17 moments after she delivered a child aboard the aircraft upon landing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Aug. 21.
U.S. Air Mobility Command
WASHINGTON – The U.S. commander overseeing the colossal airlift in Afghanistan said at least three babies have been born on evacuation flights leaving Kabul — a striking reminder of the desperation and humanity at the center of this high-stakes military mission to exit a war zone.
“I really appreciate the news reporting on the baby being born as that flight came into Ramstein,” U.S. Army Gen. Steve Lyons told reporters on Monday.
“There’s actually been more than that so it’s just, just an incredible operation, ongoing, you know, just impressive work by our great airman,” he said, adding that his most updated tally was three babies.
Lyons added that while the U.S. does not have medics on every flight, evacuees undergo a medical screening ahead of boarding the aircraft.
On Saturday, an Afghan woman went into labor aboard a C-17 military cargo evacuation flight.
“The aircraft commander made the decision to descend in altitude to increase air pressure in the aircraft, which helped stabilize and save the mother’s life,” U.S. Air Mobility Command wrote in a statement.
Upon landing at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, the baby girl and mother were transported to a nearby medical facility. The statement added that the two were in good condition.
The latest revelation comes as the Pentagon looks to accelerate its evacuation efforts, making nearly 200 aircraft available for the military mission.
On Monday, the Pentagon said that the U.S. has evacuated or helped to get approximately 37,000 people out of Afghanistan since August 14, with about 10,400 of them airlifted out over the weekend.
Since the end of July, the U.S. has relocated approximately 42,000 people. There are still several thousand Americans believed to be awaiting evacuation, according to the State Department.