Most if not all [details not provided] of the 26 people extracted on Australia’s first flight out of Kabul on 18 August, plus a further 76 extracted on a British flight the following day, have now landed in Perth.
CAPTION: Australian citizens and visa holders evacuated from Kabul disembark at Perth International Airport, Western Australia. Photo by Leading Seaman Richard Cordell.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison foreshadowed the flight yesterday.
“They have been transferred to our base in Al Minhad [UAE] and we have scheduled today a first flight to come to Australia, to Perth, Prime Minister Morrison said.
“As you can imagine, people who we’re taking out of Kabul, we’re taking out of a very dangerous set of circumstances and we’re making sure that any injuries they have are being attended to.
“You can also imagine there’s quite a bit of trauma and, and they’re in a highly anxious state, and I want to thank all of the people we have on the ground there in Al Minhad who are receiving them and preparing them and getting them ready for their onward flight to Australia.”
Mister Morrison said the evacuees from Kabul received medical treatment in Dubai.
They will also enter COVID-19 quarantine on arrival in Perth.
“I want to thank the arrangements we have with the WA government to provide for those quarantine facilities over and above the cap.”
Prime Minister Morrison also said at yesterday’s press conference…
The situation in Afghanistan remains extremely dangerous and extremely complex. I particularly want to thank our partners, and especially the United States and United Kingdom. I particularly also want to thank His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, all of whom are such essential partners for the operations we’re currently engaged in. Of course, the Crown Prince, in terms of our operations at Al Minhad. I’ll be speaking to him later this evening. And, in particular, the UK, who I’ll outline in just a second the arrangements we have had with them in the last 24 hours which enabled us to get additional people out of Kabul last night. But, of course, the US and UK, through their military presence on the ground, continues to provide the security around the airfield that is enabling these operations to continue, and we expect to be able to continue them now throughout the course of this week and into next week. But, we are moving urgently, safely, because we’re taking nothing for granted. The weather is closing in and that’s going to present some challenges over the next few days, but, equally, the situation can always turn, and so we’re moving as quickly as we possibly can. [On Wednesday night] 40 ADF personnel were deployed into Kabul, in addition to those already there, to support our efforts with additional security. A provisions drop was also included that, that was through the UK air asset, that would also brought in the Australian ADF, to provide relief to those on the ground, including those we’re providing assistance to. On that same flight back out of Kabul that night, 76 people were evacuated, including Australian citizens and Afghan visa holders. We have three additional aircraft now that have been relocated. We also have, which includes the KC-30, the air to air refueller, which has already been involved in operations supporting the airlift for other allies and partners. A cruiser also in place for those three additional aircraft and that, their access to the Kabul airstrip at HKIA will be very dependent on slot management as well as the weather. Now, I need to stress that the apron that you have there cannot take too many planes at any one time, and so slots are being allotted for to get on to ground and to unload and upload and get out. And, there are many countries who are involved in these operations, and so the windows are very narrow and we have to take the slots when we’re there and move when we’re able to do that, and I want to thank the ADF for the way that they’re moving swiftly to achieve that outcome.