Today the Defense Department began to release pictures from the ongoing evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. Below is a selection that we think aptly captures the situation from the point of view of our military.


1) Control the Skies

C-17 Globemaster III
U.S. Airmen assigned to the 821st Contingency Response Group board a C-17 Globemaster III on Travis Air Force Base, California, Aug. 14, 2021, before their deployment to support operations in Afghanistan. The U.S. Air Force, in support of the Department of Defense, moved forces into theater to facilitate the safe departure and relocation of U.S. citizens, Special Immigration Visa recipients, and vulnerable Afghan populations from Afghanistan. The 621st CRW deployed Airmen from the 621st and 821st CRGs as well as the 621st Air Mobility Advisor Group to support the mission. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Dennis Hoffman/USAF)

An Air Force Contingency Response Group is a specialized, rapid deployment unit that establishes air mobility operations for the Air Force. At Hamid Karzai Airport, they are engaged in a stand-alone, airport Command and Control mission and Air Advisory mission to assist Army and Marine units with the airlift. They are basically handling air traffic control and airport operations.