CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. — More than 6,600 Afghan refugees who began arriving at the Indiana National Guard's Camp Atterbury training post nearly six weeks ago are awaiting resettlement.
Mark Howell, regional spokesman for the federal Transportation Security Administration overseeing Operation Allies Welcome, said more are expected at the post in the coming weeks, but it's unclear how many.
Officials said they're uncertain if refugees will be permanently resettled by early November, as hoped.
Howell said many Afghans are still completing medical and security screening checks. Once cleared, they'll work with nongovernmental organizations to determine housing assignments, sponsor families and work authorizations.
A vaccination campaign for the refugees was completed early this month. Afghans were given vaccinations for measles, mumps, and rubella and varicella (chickenpox).
Arriving Afghans were required to get vaccinations for measles, COVID-19, and other diseases as a condition of their humanitarian parole.
"The ultimate goal of Operation Allies Welcome is to successfully resettle vulnerable Afghans into local communities while prioritizing national security and public health," said Robert Fenton, senior response official for Operation Allies Welcome. "The success of this vaccination campaign demonstrates our commitment to the public health of Afghan nationals, the personnel assisting this mission, and the American public."
Camp Atterbury is one of eight installations in the U.S. that the Department of Defense is using for Afghan special immigrant visa applicants, their families, and other Afghan personnel.