INDIANAPOLIS – Camp Atterbury in south-central Indiana will temporarily house Afghan evacuees, state and federal officials said Tuesday.
"As Hoosiers, we are proud to do our part and provide a temporary home for Afghan evacuees who have supported this nation," Gov. Eric Holcomb said. "Our federal partners are taking necessary and appropriate steps to establish that there is a smooth process to allow these men, women and children to quickly find their permanent home across the United States. I have faith in the Indiana National Guard's ability to support this federal mission."
Congressman Greg Pence said on Twitter Tuesday morning that over the coming week, capacity at Camp Atterbury will build to support about 5,000 persons. The U.S. Northern Command estimates the camp will reach initial operational capability in the next few days.
"I will continue to monitor this situation closely along with members of our IN Congressional Delegation, and state & federal agencies," Pence said.
Camp Atterbury is a military and civilian training post.
The Defense Department agreed to provide the Department of State transportation and temporary housing, sustainment, and support inside the United States for Afghan special immigrant visa applicants, their families and other at-risk individuals at suitable facilities, in permanent or temporary structures, as quickly as possible.
Camp Atterbury joins Fort Pickett, Marine Corps Base Quantico and Fort Lee in Va.; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort McCoy, Wis.; Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.; and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in N.J. to provide temporary housing and support for up to 50,000 Afghans.
Task Force Atterbury, consisting of active-duty and National Guard service members supporting this federal mission, will provide housing, medical, logistics, and transportation when the Afghans arrive, which has yet to be determined, a news released said.
"Our Hoosier Guardsmen are honored to join our fellow Americans to help, assist and host Afghans who played an integral part and helped us for nearly 20 years," said Indiana National Guard Adjutant General Dale Lyles. "We also look forward to working alongside our active-duty counterparts, and members of national, state, and local agencies as we support the Department of Homeland Security mission."
U.S. Northern Command is the Department of Defense's lead combatant command for this mission in the continental United States and is providing oversight in support of the Department of State and Department of Homeland Security.