The Iowa National Guard says around 65 airmen from the 185th Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City and the 132nd Wing in Des Moines have received orders for stateside deployment.
Captain Kevin Waldron of the 185th says they will be part of Operation Allies to bring Americans and vulnerable Afghans back from Afghanistan. He says the airmen will do a variety of tasks from security, to logistical to medical support, and they can go anywhere in the United States to support those being returned from Afghanistan. He says one of the things about being in the National Guard is you never know when and where you may go. “Anytime a unit receives mobilization orders we try to find individuals who are willing and voluntarily want to mobilize or serve,” Waldron says.
The Biden Administration wants to bring 97-thousand Afghan refugees into the country. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says it is important to help those who supported America during the war. But, he says there have to be conditions. “First of all, are they vetted so that we know there are no terrorists coming in. That would be the main thing,” according to Grassley. “Then there is a certain percentage of them that we ought to have in this country. Those people who risked their lives to work with our American troops. Because if they stay over there or are out now, they would be executed the way it is now.”
The Republican says those Afghans would be here legally based on their background. “It would be a case-by-case basis whether they’ve got a good reason to be here. They wouldn’t be considered illegal immigrants at this point. It would be considered legally in the country until we found that they didn’t have a good excuse to be here,” Grassley says.
Thirty of the airmen being deployed are from the 185th in Sioux City, and 35 are from the 132nd in Des Moines.
(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)