Fort Pickett prepares to welcome Afghan refugees in addition to Fort Lee

Military

NOTTOWAY COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Fort Pickett in Blackstone is preparing to temporarily house Afghan refugees upon their evacuation to the United States. The move would be Virginia’s second military installation to help process, and house refugees escaping the Taliban.

There are three other bases in the United States reportedly helping temporarily accommodate Afghan allies and their families.

When evacuations were first drawing near in July, Fort Lee in Prince George County started preparing for the arrival of Afghans. On July 30, around 200 Afghan passengers arrived at the army garrison. According to the Associated Press, Fort Lee will only house a small portion of the people escaping Afghanistan.

Afghan refugees stay at the fort for about a week and The State Department and Department of Defense help them with their visa process.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said in a previous interview he was glad Virginia is welcoming people from Afghanistan and said that the Commonwealth is “ready, willing and able to take care of them.”

Northam’s office confirmed on Tuesday that Fort Pickett is prepping to fill a similar role to Fort Lee.

Northam said the state is prepared to offer education and workforce opportunities to newly arrived Afghans, as well as COVID-19 testing through local health departments.

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