Squadron Leader Bird is responsible for the passenger handling facility at Kabul Airport, you can read what she had to say.

The ‘Voices of the Armed Forces’ blog run by the Ministry of Defence has published an interview with Squadron Leader Bird, you can read it here.

Every single passenger that is flying on a British aircraft comes through us at the terminal. When a bus arrives with a load of passengers on it, they are met by the Royal Air Force Police. They are informed of a couple of things, and then after that brief we get on with the processing. So a family group will come through and they will be met again by the RAF Police.”

A man in military uniform with a group of people with their backs to the camera looking at a weighing scale.
Military personnel assisting families

The first thing that we do is we weigh their bag to make sure that it is within ten kilos. I know that may sound harsh, but actually it is to ensure we can get as many passengers onto our jets as possible. After that, they will come up to one of the desks and as a family they will be searched. Once we are happy that the whole group are safe and they haven’t got anything they shouldn’t have, we take them through to check-in.”

You can read more at the source here.

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Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 month ago

They, those responsible for getting so many people toa place of safety, can hold their heads high. But further down the road, I think we have a growing issue at home.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

a few thousand extra people is nothing, our polutation density isn’t that high vs some other developed countries and a lot will go on to do the low paid jobs that seem to be in bad need of right now.

Whiteblade
Whiteblade
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Yes, I agree. It is important to remember that it’s still only 10000 people added to the just under 70 or so million of us. And we need our population to grow if we are to remain significant, so I see no problem with this for the moment. However, if all (or a large part) of them decide to not work and the government agrees to just give them financial support or welfare, then that’s an issue.

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Whiteblade

There is no fear of the UK’s population shrinking any time soon, our Maternity Ward’s are flat out most of the time now.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 month ago
Reply to  Whiteblade

Most of these people won’t want to leave Afghan at all. It’s there home. Most will make a successful life in the UK, with the hope of returning home one day. It is wrong to persume these people will simply claim benefits and do nothing.

dave12
dave12
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Well said.

Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Spot on. They come from a world where you earn your keep or wither. Would expect most to make a very positive contribution….and more than just ‘low paid jobs’.

geoff
geoff
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Good Morning Oldschool. The last thing the UK needs is ANY additional population growth. It is a total fallacy to suggest that we must have more people to create economic growth or even that economic growth is in any way desirable. An infant school child could tell you what would happen if you kept adding people into a single house so why cannot we so called Sapiens work it out? What is needed is a stable population, a higher retirement age in line with our much better health and increased longevity, and increased AI/mechanisation to fill any gaps in available… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by geoff
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

The personnel involved have done an amazing job.

Not accepting the displaced into the UK was not an option.

Sometimes the UK has to do its bit: this is when.

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Or an opportunity. Perhaps give the refugees some leaflets for lorry driving schools. Might help with another problem.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

That’s a very good idea. Saw Waitrose is offering £45,000 a year to existing and new HGV drivers. Just hope it doesn’t affect Army ! Maybe brexit isn’t the end of the world if truck drivers are getting this kind of money LOL.

Damo
Damo
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Supermarkets have been really trying to attract truck drivers from the army for a fair few years but without great success. In fairness they have tended to do it by the book though but they are getting desperate

Reaper
Reaper
1 month ago

By plane lol

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 month ago
Reply to  Reaper

The first air evacuation ever carried out was from Kabul by the R.A.F. in 1922.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Yep with the UK armed forces and Afghanistan it’s like the man said. ‘It’s deja vu all over again’.

Whiteblade
Whiteblade
1 month ago

During this evacuation the US has lost a lot of Humvees… my question is what is the British equivalent of the Humvee? Is it the LR Wolf? If so, does that not make it extremely outdated and inferior?

Gary M.
Gary M.
1 month ago

Does anyone know the story behind the scenes of the car being loaded on one of the transports?

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Gary M.

Wasn’t the official story that the plane had to take off due to the landing spots, but there wasn’t enouhg people processed so instead they used the spare space to get a embassy armoured vehicle out.

Challenger
Challenger
1 month ago

The last couple of weeks show that we need to retain some of the Hercules fleet out to 2030 as previously planned. A fleet of just 30 transport aircraft would struggle to mount something like Op Pitting whilst keeping all of the regular commitments going.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

https://www.forces.net/news/afghan-special-forces-could-serve-new-british-army-regiment

Ello ello, a new “Afghan Regiment” of the British Army?

What a fabulous idea.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

Plenty of history of displaced foreign soldiers going on to be huge credit to the arrmy, so why not.

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago

Brilliant idea. Do we know roughly how many there are? Enough to make a new regiment?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

No idea beyond What is in the article.
The larger Telegraph article is pay walled and couldn’t read it.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago

Possible mate, but maybe a few of the more committed and educated would be more useful, after an extended period of training, in the covert ops role back in Afghanistan. Serious thought should be considered to that mate as now we are out of the country our HUMINT is going to be pretty much zero and ISIS-K, will need to be eradicated (along with AQ who will be moving back in rather quick). And as ive said the other day methinks we will be allied to the Talibs, on the QT, in order to get this done. Cheers.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Well, as happens so often we think alike mate.

My immediate thought was not regular army, or even SAS. But a unit like or part of the DHU or even JSG, or whatever it’s called this week.

Blend in with locals, forward recc and HUMINT.

You could suggest part of SRR but then they’d have to pass SFSC.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

No edit function?

I should add to that the running of sources and agents more than recc.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago

Spot on mate, ideal lads for those jobs, maybe tied to 21/23 or even HAC for both admin and training/deployment purposes? HUMINT, long range recce, CTR etc. Maybe even working with int Corp HUMINT/SIGINT?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Sold. What are we waiting for!?

HMG will probably look at the idea and it will drift away to nothing.