U.S. preparing to relocate thousands of Afghan refugees

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is working to relocate tens of thousands of Afghan refugees to the United States.

The agency is preparing at least two U.S. military bases for this influx in refugees.

RELATED: Gov. Baker says state “ready to assist” Afghan refugees

The Department of Defense says more than 4,000 U.S. troops will be on the ground in Kabul by Tuesday.

Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor, Joint Staff Vice Director for Logistics, said their mission is evacuating Americans, and as many Afghan allies and their families by August 31.

The Pentagon reports about 700 to 800 people, 165 of them Americans, were airlifted overnight.

Maj. Gen. Taylor said its goal is to evacuate 5,000-9,000 people a day.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said U.S. commanders have been communicating with Taliban commanders outside the airport.

He said the airport remains secure for evacuations.

“Largely speaking we know we have an obligation to help these individuals and their families who helped us so much over of the last 20 years and we have been focused on this for quite some time, there is a process by which they can apply for these visas and the state dept has now opened up the umbrella for other, people who they can P1, P2 opportunities,” said Kirby.

Federal records show from last October to this July, almost 500 Afghan refugees relocated to the United States. Most Afghan refugees moved to California and New York.