Air Force Reveals An Afghanistan Evac Flight Was Almost Hijacked

The U.S. Air Force revealed that five individuals who boarded an evacuation flight out of Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) in August intended to hijack the plane but U.S. forces were able to prevent the situation from happening.

The Air Force said in a statement, “As a steady stream of C-17s entered HKIA, PRTF personnel started tracking military and commercial flights into HKIA. ‘The data they were tracking was pivotal to managing airflow/airspace and requests for additional airlift support based on the numbers they got through the gates,’ [Lt. Col. Brian Desautels] said. On one occasion after they received an intel tip, five people onboard one of the commercial flights intended to hijack the aircraft. ‘Our team worked to get them clear of the NATO ramp, relocated to the north side away from friendly forces, then ultimately onto the south side where the situation was handled,’ he said.”

The Air Force also addressed the ISIS attack on the HKIA that killed 13 U.S. servicemembers.

“The sewage alley near Abbey Gate was packed with over 10,000 people when it was bombed around 6 p.m. local time. The terrorists then engaged with small arms fire.… Eleven Marines, one Navy corpsman and one Soldier were killed in the attack,” the statement said. “Seventeen service members were wounded and received care at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, before being transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. One Marine was still in “serious but stable condition,” according to a U.S. Marines spokesperson, as reported Oct. 6.”

“More than a thousand service members attended the ramp ceremony of the 13 KIA at HKIA,” the statement added. “Ramp ceremonies have historically never been shown before, but this one was mistakenly uploaded and then removed on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service. On social media, veterans and servicemembers shared the photos and memories of their own experiences at ramp ceremonies, as the fall of Afghanistan has been more emotional for many who have served there.”

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