After the Department of Defense executed the largest airlift in U.S. history in August 2021 over 80,000 Afghan evacuees arrived in the United States. The vast majority of them were not U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, or Afghans with an issued Special Immigrant Visa. So most of the evacuees found themselves on one of eight military installations in the United States where they were housed, fed, provided medical services, screened, and processed before being relocated to communities across America.
By early February 2022 only two of the eight installations remained open. Fort McCoy in Wisconsin and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. Task Force McCoy was composed of almost 2,000 DoD personnel. The majority of the personnel came from reserve units from Wisconsin and Minnesota. Personnel from active duty units from Fort Campbell, Fort Hood, and Fort Carson also participated.
Fort McCoy was notified on August 16, 2021 that it would house Afghan evacuees. On August 22nd the first Afghan evacuees arrived at Fort McCoy. By September 7th TF McCoy had received over 12,000 Afghan evacuees.
The DoD IG audit team visited Fort McCoy for five days in early November 2021. The objective of the audit was to determine whether the DoD adequately planned and provided support for the relocation of Afghan evacuees. The audit team evaluated housing, support facilities, security, medical care, and costs associated with the Afghan evacuee support effort.
The DoD found that, despite the limited time to plan for the massive effort, the installation was able to house and sustain the Afghan evacuees appropriately. There were some challenges experienced by Task Force McCoy personnel. Maintaining dining facilities posed some problems. In addition, other areas of concern were holding Afghan evacuees accountable for misdemeanor crimes, providing behavioral health services, and identifying the required contracted medical skill sets.
This 22-page report provides the details of how Task Force McCoy housed, fed, supported, and processed over 13,000 Afghan evacuees. It reports on the medical services, education, recreation, and sustainment provided to the Afghans.
Management Advisory: DoD Support for the Relocation of Afghan Nationals at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, Inspector General U.S. Department of Defense, February 15, 2022, PDF, 22 pages.
Read online or download here.
Photo: The last family of Afghan guests depart Fort McCoy, Wis., Feb. 15, 2022, to end the Operation Allies Welcome mission at the fort. Photo by Army Sgt. Robert P. Wormley III.