In the first military relocation to the UK since the end of Op PITTING in August the RAF airlifted 102 eligible persons who have left Afghanistan.
MoD News Release, Whitehall, 23 October 2021: The RAF has airlifted over 102 people who had already left Afghanistan from a neighbouring third country. The airlifts took place across two flights and both have landed safely in the UK. Those on board will now receive support to begin their lives in the UK under Operation WARM WELCOME.
While repatriation flights and individual relocations have been taking place since the end of August, these flights are the first military relocation of eligible Afghans and British nationals since the end of the evacuation from Kabul, known as Operation PITTING.
Those transported include vulnerable Afghans who fall under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) who are eligible for relocation to the UK, and British nationals. Further flights are due to arrive in the UK in the coming weeks with more eligible people on board.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “In August we worked tirelessly to airlift more than 15,000 vulnerable Afghans and British Nationals from Kabul to the UK.
“As I made clear at the time, our commitment to the Afghan people did not end there. We are determined to do right by those who supported our Armed Forces for so many years and others who are at risk.
“These flights mark the beginning of what will be an enduring effort to relocate and support those who need our help.”
The UK is working with international partners to ensure that as many routes as possible remain open to support the movement of British nationals and relocation of eligible Afghans to the UK. These flights mark the beginning of the next chapter of that effort.
After arriving in the UK, eligible Afghans will be processed and supported by the Home Office and MoD under Operation WARM WELCOME to ensure they receive the support they need to build their lives in the UK. This includes indefinite leave to remain in the UK for those under the ARAP scheme, as well as funding for schooling and healthcare.