Texas

Afghan refugees cost US military bases more than $535 million

(Central Square) — Afghan citizens stationed at US bases overseas and in six states have cost military units more than $535 million in damage and supplies, according to findings released by the Department of Defense Inspector General. The Texas congressman is now demanding answers.

Those stationed at eight military bases in six states cost the bases $362.63 million in resource depletion and damage to facilities. This included $257.48 million in damage to base facilities that rendered some buildings and infrastructure unusable by U.S. forces, and more than $105 million in used equipment and replacement supplies, as well as reduced military readiness.

Afghanistan-related damage totaled more than $150 million at US bases in Germany, more than $3 million at bases in Spain and Germany, and more than $20 million at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.

Inspector General findings Reveal that the US Army reported the largest domestic base loss of $188.81 million, followed by the Air Force ($150.14 million).

In August 2021, President Joe Biden withdrew US troops from Afghanistan, turning them over to the Taliban, an Islamic terrorist organization that US troops have been fighting for 20 years.

Leaving thousands of Americans stuckand more than $7 billion worth of arms, ammunition and equipment, the Department of Defense “performed the largest airlift in U.S. history, evacuating more than 120,000 people from Afghanistan in just 17 days,” the report said. During the retreat, 13 soldiers were killed.

Afghans were stationed at US military bases until February 2022; when their visas were processed, they were released to the US.

In the US they were stationed at Fort Bliss in Texas; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey; Fort McCoy in Wisconsin; Camp Atterbury in Indiana; Fort Pickett, Fort Lee, and Marine Corps Base Quantico Virginia; and Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, most of which are located at Fort McCoy, Fort Bliss, and Fort Pickett.

But at least 44,000 people were not housed in military bases whose whereabouts were unknown for months after entering the US, prompting US senators demand responses from the Department of Homeland Security.

According to the report, the damage caused by the “guests” was described by Air Force officials as “irreparable”.

“Air Force officials described tables, chairs and cribs broken by guests, as well as tents and cribs defaced with spray paint, human biological matter and holes,” the report says; the materials were “completely depleted so that there was no material left for other actual missions.”

Holloman Air Force Base said the Afghans used up $18 million worth of their medical equipment.

“Navy facilities that did not have permits to house refugees suffered at least $2.5 million in damage,” the report said.

For technical reasons, only the $259.5 million funding requests for restoration and repair of eight bases resulting from the OAW were approved. The report notes that the Deputy Secretary of Defense authorized the release of funds for specific repair and restoration work three months after the submission of the damage assessment.

Due to several factors, the Department of Defense held the bases liable for at least $103.1 million in damages from their own budgets. Costs include replenishing depleted medical supplies, repairing infrastructure, restocking consumables, and restoring essentials.

Republican Congressman Tony Gonzalez, whose district includes Fort Bliss, expressed “dismay” at the report’s findings in letter Defense Department officials.

“I am dismayed at how these bases will be required to cover the cost of this damage due to their efforts to support the evacuated Afghans,” he wrote.

“I’m equally concerned about the report’s negative assessment of the OAW’s impact on military readiness, which details ongoing drill disruptions,” he said, adding that the Department of Defense is denying requests for repair costs due to a tech recovery directive. unacceptable.

“Despite the fact that our armed forces continue to be under strain caused by the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, it is important that all affected units return to their full combat capability as soon as possible,” he said. “As the United States faces a global situation saturated with increasing instability, it is imperative that our military has the resources necessary to maintain constant readiness.”

Gonzalez also asked the Department of Defense to explain when repairs to the base would be completed and “how the costs of repairing the damage done to these facilities would negate actions related to other military readiness priorities.”

The Department of Defense also disapproved of all requests made by foreign bases or the Marine Corps.

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