Afghan refugees arrive at Fort McCoy

NOW: Afghan refugees arrive at Fort McCoy

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FORT MCCOY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The first of many Afghan refugees have arrived at Wisconsin's Fort McCoy on Sunday, Aug. 22. 

Special immigrant visa applicants, their families, and other individuals at risks arrived at Fort McCoy Sunday afternoon. 

Officials say the Department of Defense, through U.S. Northern Command and in support of the Department of State, recently approved and is now temporarily housing vulnerable Afghans at three military installations in the country, which includes Fort McCoy. 

Gov. Tony Evers said last week the state stands ready to assist Afghans seeking refuge. Until the refugee resettlement programs find apartment for the new arrivals, they will be housed at Fort McCoy, located between Tomah and Sparta.

Officials say this is in addition to the small number of Afghans currently finalizing their processing at Fort Lee, VA. Officials expect the arrivals to continue throughout Sunday and the coming days. 

U.S. Northern Command is working to build additional capacity at Fort McCoy. 

Nearly 1,000 service members from multiple units of the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve have begun to assemble at Fort McCoy to provide support to Operation Allies Reuse, officials say. 

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