RI Air National Guard to help transport Afghan refugees


EAST GREENWICH, R.I (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Air National Guard is deploying an aircraft to assist in transporting Afghan refugees to the United States.

The aircraft, a C-130J Hercules, and its two flight crews will pick up refugees from initial arrival points in the United States and transport them to various locations throughout the country.

Those two initial arrival points include the Philadelphia International and Washington-Dulles airports.

Through the U.S Northern Command, the U.S. Department of Defense is providing temporary housing and support for at least 50,000 Afghan evacuees at a number of military installations.

“I am proud of our Rhode Island National Guard men and women who stepped up and volunteered to
assist those Afghan personnel being evacuated from overseas,” Gov. Dan McKee said. “Their volunteerism and eagerness to be a part of a solution is consistent with everything I know about the National Guard, and exemplifies the best of what Rhode Island has to offer.”

During his weekly media briefing last Tuesday, McKee mentioned that he sent a letter to President Joe Biden, stating Rhode Island “stands ready to welcome Afghan refugees.”

“To Afghan citizens fleeing from persecution, we can offer not only a welcoming refuge, but also an opportunity to prosper and contribute to a vibrant community,” McKee wrote in the letter.

The Diocese of Providence said Wednesday that it will be able to adequately support up to 100 refugees, though it remains unknown how many would actually come to Rhode Island.

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