“Airlift is not going to be a limiting factor,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.
A spokeswoman for the 445th Airlift Wing, which has an inventory of nine C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, told the Dayton Daily News Monday that the wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base had been instructed to stand by for a possible “tasking.”
She referred questions to the public affairs office for Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and a spokeswoman in that office said the military is not confirming details of ongoing or potential operations.
“The airfield is secure right now,” Taylor said.
U.S. commanders at HKIA are charged with securing the airport and evacuating people quickly and safely, Kirby said.
“They will and should take whatever interactions they need to accomplish that mission,” he said.
Asked if American forces have an agreement with the Taliban to allow safe passage of evacuees to the airport through the city of Kabul, which the Taliban holds, Kirby said U.S. commanders are in communication with Taliban commanders.
“We trust them to have the interactions they feel they need to have,” Kirby said.