Winter preps underway for Afghan evacuees at Fort Bliss


An Afghan evacuee receives a new jacket in preparation for winter at Fort Bliss’ Doña Ana Complex in New Mexico on Oct. 15, 2021. | U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Maxwell Bass, 24th Theater Public Affairs Support Elemen

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Officials at Fort Bliss’ Doña Ana Complex in New Mexico say preparations are underway for the winter season, as cooler temperatures move into the region.

The 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment is working with various units to create a distribution center to collect winter clothing for Afghan evacuees.

“Even though we’re in a desert, and the perception can be that it’s hot all the time–the winters can be harsh,” said Capt. James Reichhold, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team.

Many Afghan evacuees arrived at the Doña Ana Complex with only the clothes on their back. This distribution center will help ease the lives of Afghan evacuees and prepare them for the winter season in New Mexico.

“I think we’re definitely doing a good thing,” said Spc. Austin Timmons 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.

Officials say the distribution center hopes to issue roughly 1400 jackets a day.

Afghans evacuees are brought through the distribution center, due to the number of evacuees, each Afghan can only receive one jacket. To enhance the overall efficiency and experience, families are given information sheets ahead of time to fill out their childrens’ jacket sizes.

“Being able to provide them with these jackets is definitely going to increase their quality of life,” said Reichhold.

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