Defence Force release images of Afghanistan evacuation

Source: 1News

Images of the New Zealand effort evacuating people from Afghanistan have been released by the New Zealand Defence Force Tuesday. 

Pictures show NZDF personnel assisting a person in a wheelchair on the back of a ute, families lining up to get onto the flight and from onboard the flight. 

"A team of 19 personnel based at Hamid Karzai International Airport have been liaising with evacuees and working alongside partner nations to facilitate evacuations," a statement by the NZDF said. 

"Last night the Hercules made its first flight into Kabul, arriving at a base in the United Arab Emirates in the early hours of this morning with both New Zealand and Australian evacuees on board."

Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Rear Admiral Jim Gilmour said they were till working to get others evacuated, "but we’re pleased to get this group of evacuees onto our Hercules aircraft and out to a safe base".

An RNZAF C130 in Kabul that evacuated New Zealanders and Australians.

It comes as the first group of evacuees landed in New Zealand yesterday, after flying out on a Royal Australian Air Force flight. 

The group of New Zealand citizens, their families and other visa holders went to MIQ on arrival. 

Defence Minister Peeni Henare said the group's "long journey to safety is nearly over, and I can only imagine the relief and joy they feel at being reunited with loved ones here in Aotearoa.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expressed her concern last week over the evacuation situation in Afghanistan, saying it, "does not look like we're going to get everyone out that we want to get out". 

She said there was a window to try and use the secure space in Kabul airport, "but it is an entirely separate issue of people's ability to safely connect with the airport.