WASHINGTON — To help with the refuge efforts for Afghan families, the Army plans to hire additional civilians within and outside the force to process evacuees at different locations.
Following the departure of the U.S. military from Afghanistan after two decades, the Defense Department pledged to welcome all Afghan families who left to seek refuge in the United States and other nations.
The DOD aims to provide safety, shelter and security to Afghans who departed their home country as part of Operation Allies Welcome, including temporary housing for up to 50,000 people. Last month, the DOD airlifted at-risk Afghans who assisted U.S. operations out of the country.
“We will help these Afghan friends as they now turn to the task of beginning new lives in new places,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin said in a statement released on Aug. 31. “We will provide [the Afghan people] with temporary living spaces, medical care, and sustenance at military facilities at home and abroad.”
The Army is currently seeking civilians fluent in Dari or Pashto to serve as cultural advisors and translators.
Those selected will be given brief training and temporarily assigned to one of the following locations: Joint Base McGuire-Fort Dix, New Jersey; Fort McCoy, Wisconsin; Fort Bliss, Texas; Holloman Air Force Base; New Mexico; the Philadelphia International Airport; Camp Atterbury, Indiana; and Quantico, Fort Pickett, Fort Lee, and Dulles International Airport in Virginia.
Yanir Hill, director of the Army Expeditionary Civilian Workforce, said that in addition to civilian recruitment they are also looking outside the Army for emergency hires. Applicants must be available to work for up to 120 days from their date of hire. She said the Army has also been assigning Soldiers with linguist skills to the 10 duty locations.
“It is a surge mission. This is not what we do every day,” she said. “So when you bring that number of people in so quickly, your support requirements grow to more than what we currently have on board so we reach out throughout our Army workforce and, as needed, we execute emergency hires.”
Those interested in applying can email their resume and contact information to: email@example.com.
The AECW’s mission is to mobilize expeditionary civilians in support of contingency operations throughout the world. Though this new mission is within the United States, the process for AECW support remains the same.
AECW hired personnel from Indiana University to support the need for language and cultural advisory services in Camp Atterbury. The same process is taking place in the other locations supporting this mission.
“We have to be able to communicate with our guests in order to address their needs,” she said. “If they need something or are confused on something we [must] be able to communicate with them correctly. That is why the linguists’ role is so important.”
Expeditionary civilians are a force multiplier for commanders, providing the commander with flexibilities and expertise not readily available in the military workforce. AECW supports U.S. contingency operations by identifying, training and deploying civilians with unique skill sets.
At any given time, the Army has approximately 1,200 civilians deployed throughout the world working in logistics, personnel, operations, intelligence, safety and other skills sets. AECW had approximately 210 personnel deployed to Afghanistan and recently relocated them to over the horizon locations and, in some cases, brought them back home, she said.