JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne Bass arrived at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst to visit Liberty Village and the members supporting Task Force Liberty Sept. 25.
During their visit, Kendall, Brown and Bass visited the Joint Reception Center, Joint Operations Center, medical facilities and walked through Liberty Village to meet with Task Force Liberty personnel and witness the support for the Afghan evacuees staying there.
“There was one mission here and one team came together,” Kendall said. “It combines all the elements when I talk about one team, one fight. It was a joint and multi-agency team giving terrific effort. Local communities are involved with donations and volunteering. The American team came together to perform a mission and did it amazingly.”
Task Force Liberty initiated in August in line with the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. Active duty, Guard and Reserve service members from across the force came together with outside agencies to create a space that could provide support to over 10,000 Afghan guests as they immigrated into the United States.
“It's impressive to see what's occurred here over one month,” Brown said. “As the Air Force Chief of Staff, I can not tell you how proud I am of all of our Airmen. Going all the way back to moving out of Kabul, moving here at McGuire and all the things our Airmen are doing around our Air Force to support this effort, I couldn't be prouder.”
With infrastructure already in place to support Afghans arriving at JBMDL, Task Force Liberty has continued to grow, recently opening medical facilities, barber shops, beauty parlors and dining facilities to name a few.
Future facilities planned for construction include Liberty Market, where Afghans will be able to buy food and household items.
“I couldn't be more proud of the Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Guardians and all of our partners here and I see leadership qualities in every one of them,” Bass said. “From adaptability, communication and tapping into those emotional intelligence skills, you have been able to take such good care of our Afghan partners and it's impressive to see.”
Finally, Bass provided a closing comment that can resonate throughout the force.
“I want every single person who is here representing this incredibly important mission to know just how much we appreciate everything that they are doing,” she said. “On behalf of the entire Air Force, thanks for every single thing you are doing.”