In my 22 years with Atlas Air, I’ve watched our crews and ground staff perform at the highest levels under diverse and extraordinary conditions. One of the most memorable times will be witnessing our teams work tirelessly and with great compassion to evacuate refugees from Afghanistan throughout August and September.
When the U.S. Government activated the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) program on August 22, Atlas and a handful of other carriers stepped up to provide the military the lift capacity to support this historic humanitarian mission. Atlas has long participated in the CRAF program, and it is a personal point of pride for me to know that we can step up and assist the United States government and the American people in a time of need.
These missions showed the best of who we are at Atlas. In total, we transported more than 7,800 Afghan evacuees and their families from forward locations in Qatar, Bahrain, and Germany to the United States on 22 flights.
Our support of the Afghanistan evacuation builds on our longstanding relationship with the U.S. Armed Forces. Atlas is the largest airlift provider to the U.S. military each year, moving both personnel and equipment around the globe in support of military operations. In the last ten years, Atlas has flown nearly 2 million American service members on thousands of flights.
We commissioned a special Atlas Air Operation Allies Refuge Commemorative Coin to mark our Company’s role in the largest passenger movement in the military’s history. The distribution and exchange of coins within the military is a longstanding tradition, and Atlas is proud to honor this tradition within our own company by sharing this coin with our employees as a token of appreciation.
Time and again, our Atlas team has responded to the world’s most urgent challenges. I am proud to lead a company full of dedicated professionals with a shared sense of commitment and service.
Click here to watch a video of our colleagues sharing their experiences of the mission.