Nearly the entire world watched Air Mobility Command Airmen evacuate more than one hundred thousand refugees from Afghanistan, all while combating active attacks in Kabul. Nearly the whole world was glued to their screens watching this operation unfold, experiencing feelings mirroring a rollercoaster.
Unlike the millions of TV viewers, Airman 1st Class Keith Lautez wouldn’t experience these emotions while watching a screen, but would instead witness firsthand the power AMC brings to the world, as he provided security aboard these very flights.
Lautez was about to return home after his deployment when he was suddenly called on to stay longer and eventually lead a team of Airmen who helped evacuate hundreds of civilians aboard a C-17. The airlift operation would ultimately transport 124,000 civilians from Kabul with aircraft departing every 34 minutes, and in a single day evacuated more than 19,000 people.