Aug. 23, 2021 — An Afghan woman went into labor while aboard an evacuation flight that landed in Germany on Saturday
U.S. airmen helped to deliver the baby on the C-17 aircraft. The woman and her baby, whose identities were not revealed, were taken to a nearby medical facility. They’re both in good condition.
The flight left from an “intermediate staging base in the Middle East,” according to a statement on the U.S. Air Mobility Command’s Facebook page. It wasn’t revealed when the woman left Afghanistan.
During the flight, the woman went into labor and had complications due to low blood pressure.
“The aircraft commander made the decision to descend in altitude to increase air pressure in the aircraft, which helped stabilize and save the mother’s life,” according to the Facebook post.
Once the plane landed at Ramstein Air Base in southwest Germany, medical personnel from the 86th Medical Group boarded the plane and delivered the baby in the cargo bay. Then the mother and baby were taken to a medical facility for further care.
As of Sunday, more than 6,000 evacuees from Afghanistan have been flown to Ramstein Air Base, with more flights expected in coming days, said a spokesperson for the air base, according to NBC News. Overall, 25,000 people have been evacuated since Aug. 15.
Thousands more are waiting to flee, NBC News reported. The U.S. will use commercial aircraft to transport people once they have been evacuated from Afghanistan, the Defense Department said Sunday.
The 18 aircraft — from American, Atlas, Delta, Hawaiian, Omni, and United airlines — won’t fly into Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. Instead, they will be used for the “onward movement of passengers from temporary safe havens and interim staging bases,” John Kirby, press secretary for the Pentagon, said in a statement on Sunday.
This is the third time that the Civil Reserve Air Fleet has been activated. The first time was in support of Operations Desert Shield/Storm between August 1990 and May 1991 during the Persian Gulf War. The second was for Operation Iraqi Freedom between February 2002 and June 2003 after the invasion of Iraq.
“We’ve reached agreements with about two dozen countries over four continents who are now helping or soon going to help with the transit of people out of Kabul,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Fox News Sunday.
“This is one way to make sure we have enough flight capacity to move people from those places to their ultimate destinations,” he said.