A transport machine from Germany is on its way to Afghanistan. The evacuation of German civilians and Afghan local personnel had already begun – with help from the US.
Berlin / Wunstorf (dpa) – The Bundeswehr set out for the evacuation of German civilians and Afghan local staff with a first transport plane to Afghanistan.
An A400M aircraft left for Kabul on Monday morning from Lower Saxony Air Base in Wunstorf (Hannover region).
Bundeswehr paratroopers arrive in military transporters in the Afghan capital on Monday to take German civilians and local aides to safety from militant Islamist Taliban fighters. On the same day, according to information from security circles, a so-called crisis support team (KuT) consisting of experts from various ministries arrives in the Afghan capital.
In the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, a second team is going to organize a hub for rescuing people from the Islamists. It is the largest evacuation operation of the Bundeswehr to date – and a dangerous one, as Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) made clear on Sunday evening in Berlin.
The first members of the German embassy in Kabul had already flown in from Kabul. According to information from the German News Agency, 40 employees of the German embassy landed on an American plane in Doha in the emirate of the Gulf of Qatar on Monday evening. Also on board the machine were four members of the Swiss delegation in Afghanistan.
Kramp-Karrenbauer: “Equipped for all scenarios”
In addition to the staff of the German embassy, Afghan local staff who previously worked or are still working for the armed forces or federal ministries will be brought to Germany. The evacuation is ensured by the Rapid Forces Division, a special unit of the Bundeswehr that is trained for evacuations. “We are prepared for all scenarios,” emphasizes Kramp-Karrenbauer.
Due to the rapid advance of the Taliban, embassy personnel have already been taken to the airport for security reasons, which is being secured by US troops. For many local workers, the roads to save Kabul have already been blocked after the Taliban continue their campaign of conquest at a brisk pace, often against government forces that capitulate without a fight.
The Bundeswehr mainly deploys paratroopers from the Rapid Forces Division (DSK), which keeps the Bundeswehr ready for this task as part of the National Risk and Crisis Preparedness. The specialists are stationed in Saarlouis (Saarland) and Seedorf (Lower Saxony) and all belong to Airborne Brigade 1. German military police (“Feldjäger”) and Bundeswehr medic are also involved.