President of the United States Joe Biden said during an address Friday that civilian evacuation mission that the U.S. military is undertaking in Afghanistan involve one of the largest and most difficult airlifts in history.
"We've secured the airport, enabling flights to resume — not just military flights, but civilian charters and others from other countries, and the [non-governmental organizations] taking out civilians and vulnerable Afghans," Biden added.
The nearly 6,000 troops on the ground are providing airport runway security, guarding the airport perimeter and assisting the civilian departures.
The U.S. moved out 5,700 evacuees Thursday and Biden said that the government is working to verify the number of Americans who are still in Afghanistan and how many U.S. citizens have been able to return to their country.
The U.S. military is also arranging flights for U.S. allies and its partners and is working closely on operational coordination with NATO, Biden added. Troops also provided over watch for the French convoy, bringing hundreds of their people from the French Embassy to the airport. The list of evacuees also includes special immigration visa applicants and their families, the Afghans who have worked alongside the United States and its coalition forces, along with translators and interpreters.
On Thursday, there was a pause of flights leaving Kabul due to reduced personnel capacity at one of the stopover locations which was overcome eventually. Flights operations have resumed to stopover locations with Qatar being one of the primary stopover locations.
In a recent press briefing Army Maj. Gen. William "Hank" Taylor, Joint Staff deputy director for regional operations stated that flights would start landing in Germany on Friday. In the U.S., primary arrival locations are Forts Lee, McCoy and Bliss with them being placed in installations with a capacity to host 22,000 individuals.