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A look inside Camp Atterbury where Afghan evacuees are staying

Posted at 9:12 AM, Sep 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-03 12:13:20-04

JOHNSON COUNTY — The Indiana National Guard has released new visuals from inside Camp Atterbury showing the facilities where evacuees from Afghanistan are staying.

The first group of people coming to the camp in Johnson County arrived Thursday evening.

It's not yet clear exactly how many people are coming to the camp or when, but Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and Indiana National Guard Adjutant General R. Dale Lyles provided some details on how the camp will look like on the inside. And new photos and a video from the guard show a look inside.

When asked earlier this week if news reporters and photographers would be allowed inside the camp, Lyles and Holcomb said no one would be allowed inside at this time because they don't want to sacrifice any part of the mission, but something may be set up, possibly outside the camp, at a later date.

Camp Atterbury approved to house Afghan evacuees
FILE -- The Secretary of Defense approved Camp Atterbury in Indiana as a site to temporarily house Afghan evacuees in support of Operation Allies Welcome Aug. 31, 2021. The Department of Defense, through U.S. Northern Command, and in support of the Department of Homeland Security, is providing transportation, temporary housing, medical screening, and general support for up to 50,000 Afghan evacuees at suitable facilities, in permanent or temporary structures, as quickly as possible. This initiative provides Afghan personnel essential support at secure locations outside Afghanistan. (Photo by National Guard Sgt. Joshua Syberg)

Before and once they arrive at Camp Atterbury, everyone will be medically screened and tested for COVID-19, Lyles said. The screening, expected to take about 14 days, will help determine the medical status of evacuees, give them all needed vaccinations for visa holders and offer mental health resources. COVID-19 vaccinations will also be offered at the camp.

Task Force Atterbury Facilities
COVID-19 testing equipment at Camp Atterbury in Indiana, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. Military service members will help test Afghan evacuees as part of Operation Allies Welcome. Hoosiers will host the Afghans at Camp Atterbury as they begin their safe resettlement to the United States.

Once evacuees arrive at Camp Atterbury and are processed, personnel at the site will determine where to house them, Lyles said.

Task Force Atterbury Facility
Reception building at Camp Atterbury in Indiana, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. Facilities at Camp Atterbury, near Edinburgh, will support Afghan evacuees as part of Operation Allies Welcome. Hoosiers will host the Afghans at Camp Atterbury as they begin their safe resettlement to the United States. (Indiana National Guard photo by Sgt. Tackora Farrington, released)

All lodging facilities have heating, air conditioning and plumbing, Lyles said. Families or people arriving with others will likely stay together in a dorm-style unit. Those arriving alone will stay in open bay barracks for both males and females.

Task Force Atterbury
Bunk beds in barracks at Camp Atterbury in Indiana, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. Living facilities at Camp Atterbury, near Edinburgh, will temporarily house Afghan evacuees as part of Operation Allies Welcome. Hoosiers will host the Afghans at Camp Atterbury as they begin their safe resettlement to the United States. (Indiana National Guard photo by Sgt. Tackora Farrington, released)
Task Force Atterbury Facilities
Bathroom facilities at Camp Atterbury in Indiana showing sinks and mirrors, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. Living facilities at Camp Atterbury, near Edinburgh, will temporarily house Afghan evacuees as part of Operation Allies Welcome. Hoosiers will host the Afghans at Camp Atterbury as they begin their safe resettlement to the United States. (Indiana National Guard photo by Sgt. Tackora Farrington, released)