Last Afghan refugees depart Air Force base in New Mexico

January 29, 2022 GMT

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — The last Afghan refugees have departed Holloman Air Force Base in southern New Mexico where they were temporarily housed while being resettled in the United States after being relocated following the U.S. military’s withdrawal from their home country, base officials said.

A tent city at Holloman sheltered a total of nearly 7,100 Afghans during the five months since the first arrived Aug. 31, officials said in a statement.

Prior to the last refugees’ departure Wednesday, Aman Omid Village at Holloman housed a rolling average of about 4,500 Afghan refugees, the Alamogordo Daily News reported.

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While at Holloman, Afghan refugees were given halal meals, lessons in American culture and used recreation areas where they played with soccer balls or played cricket.

Holloman was one of eight U.S. military installations used for Operation Allies Welcome. Refugees remain at four of the bases.

“With the completion of operations at Holloman AFB, we have now helped more than 66,000 Afghan evacuees begin their new lives in the United States,” Robert J. Fenton, Jr., senior response official for Operation Allies Welcome said in a Department of Homeland Security press release.