DENVER (CBS4) – Denver-based airline employees are now directly assisting the U.S. Military in their effort to evacuate refugees from Afghanistan. CBS4’s Dillon Thomas confirmed multiple United Airlines staff members have been directly involved in the evacuation of Afghanistan following the Pentagon enacting the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF), a 70-year-old government program that calls on commercial airlines to assist the government in times of crisis.

(credit: United Airlines)

United Airlines employees from Denver are now helping the military with ground coordination, translation and medical aid. The employees who are working in the CRAF mission are not working in Kabul, Afghanistan but rather out of bases and airports affiliated with the evacuation of tens of thousands.

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Ground coordinators, a position filled by full-time United Airlines ramp service employees based out of Denver International Airport, have been working out of U.S. Military bases. The ground coordinators are helping the military evacuate soldiers and Afghan refugees by handling flight loading, weight and balance closeout, fueling and other tasks needed to get the flights off the ground.

(credit: United Airlines)

At least one United volunteer from Denver has been serving as a translator on flights carrying military and evacuees.

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Also, a flight instructor based out of the United Flight Training Center in Central Park is now volunteering their services as a medic to the evacuees.

As reported by CB4 earlier this week, United is among several airlines offering their wide-body aircraft to complete the missions. The first flight brought evacuees to Washington Dulles airport on Monday.

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(credit: United Airlines)

More than 8,000 employees from United, including pilots and flight attendants, offered their assistance from around the country. CBS4 learned Delta Airlines and American Airlines also requested their employees to assist in the efforts.

Dillon Thomas