The 12-nation crew of the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) evacuated 2,299 people from Kabul, Afghanistan in 14 missions.
Tens of thousands have been stranded in the Middle Eastern capital's airport, including international embassy staff, locals who aided Allied forces and their families, since the Taliban occupied Kabul on 15 August, hoping that they get a seat on one of the aircraft evacuating people from Kabul.
The SAC, similarly to its recent retrograde mission, established an air-bridge between Kabul and Tbilisi, Georgia to make handling and moving passengers manageable. Passengers' data, logistics, and destinations are managed by individual Member Nations' movement coordination (MOVCON) experts to allow the least possible amount of time loading people on the C-17-s in Kabul.
The SAC started the series of its Kabul evacuation missions on 17 August, upon the request of one of its Member Nations. Since then, our three Boeing Globemaster III C-17-s have been requested to evacuate by eight Nations.
Our crews set up the inside of the C-17 for emergency floor loading to be able to maximize the number of people they could evacuate. Our Command and Control experts in Pápa often combined individual Member Nations' requests to maximize capacity, therefore the most people a SAC mission evacuated was more than 500 in one flight.
As seen in news reports, the situation at Kabul airport is chaotic. Heavy Airlift Wing personnel and Kabul points of contact have to approach each task in the evacuation with extreme flexibility and creativity to be able to bring as many people out as possible within the security threshold.
The 12-nation crew does their best to make the journey out of Kabul the least stressful possible; children are being welcomed by teddy bears upon boarding, for instance.