Department of Defense needs $260 million to fix military housing damaged by Afghan refugees

Afghan refugees at Fort Pickett, Virginia, September 2021. (Courtesy photo)

The refugees who fled Afghanistan and were housed on US military property caused $260 million in damages, the DoD reports.

In the summer of 2021, the US Air Force airlifted 120,000 refugees from Afghanistan in a haphazard fashion, scattering them to bases in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, Italy, Bahrain, and Germany for processing.

Post-processing, many refugees were taken to US military installations, including 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 in Virginia; and Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

According to the Associated Press, the areas used to temporarily hold the families were left in quite a state after the refugees were processed and released into the general American population.

The facilities need to be restored “to a condition that enables them to conduct trainings, prepare for future events, and return to normal base operations,” the Inspector General investigation found.

Around $16 million alone of the recent defense budget was earmarked for Camp Atterbury, Indiana, where countless refugees were housed.

The $16 million is needed “to replace mattresses and furniture and repair floors, doors, windows, plumbing, fire alarm systems, and landscaping.”

In New Jersey, Fort McCoy housed 12,706 refugees, needing $145.6 million to repair buildings and plumbing.

An Inspector General investigation has questioned whether all the needed repairs were 100% related to the refugees, though there was a little elaboration on the matter.

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