Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityRep. Herrell and Rep. Stansbury recount tour of Holloman Air Force Base | KDBC
Close Alert

Rep. Herrell and Rep. Stansbury recount tour of Holloman Air Force Base

Rep. Herrell and Rep. Stansbury recount tour of Holloman Air Force Base (KFOX14/CBS4){p}{/p}
Rep. Herrell and Rep. Stansbury recount tour of Holloman Air Force Base (KFOX14/CBS4)

Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon
Comment bubble

New Mexico lawmakers left with a pretty positive outlook after visiting Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, New Mexico for the first time on Tuesday, where thousands of Afghan refugees are being housed.

Republican congresswomen Yvette Herrell, who represents southern New Mexico's second congressional district, and democrat congresswoman Melanie Stansbury, who represents New Mexico's first congressional district, toured the base.

RECOMMENDED: Rep. Herrell tours Holloman Air Force Base, reviews Afghan refugee operations

They both said they made it a priority to tour the base and make sure refugees were being taken care of properly.

They also wanted to highlight the work military personnel is doing.

“The airman here have set up a facility that has air conditioning and they partitioned it so that families have private space inside of the tents that they’re staying in, there’s a cafeteria, there’s playground and there’s a lot of facilities,” Stansbury said.

RECOMMENDED: Afghan refugee's tweet about food at Fort Bliss receives backlash, ends with change

“I can’t emphasize enough how impressed I was with what the facility looked like in terms of what our military has been able to do in relatively a short period of time to house that many people,” Herrell said.

The media wasn’t allowed to tag along for the tour, CBS4 wasn’t even allowed to turn our camera toward the base, the closest we could get was the welcome center and Herrell said that needs to change because there’s nothing to hide.

“I’m happy to make the request to bring some of the media with me cause I just think that needs to happen,” Herrell said.

While the media wasn’t allowed in, CBS4 was given access to photos inside the base showing military officials playing with kids, even greeting Afghans with homemade posters and supplies.

“We were able to see actually several airplanes land and families actually who have just landed as they were going through their paperwork process. I have to say one of the most emotional moments for me was seeing a family with a little boy who was about three years old carrying an American flag coming off the plane, it was really beautiful,” Stansbury said.

Holloman Airforce Base is expected to boost its capacity from just over 2,000 Afghan refugees as of Tuesday, to 5,000 by Friday.

“Some of these people we’ve learned have come through injured due to them trying to get on the plane, we heard today about untreated bullet wounds, amputees, so there are people coming with medical crisis, there are some that are medically fragile,” Herrell said.

Herrell said she understands the refugees are vetted before they arrive, said there’s still a lot of unanswered questions.

“Tomorrow myself and I think 26 or 27 other members have signed a letter to the President of the United States asking pointed questions as far as the vetting process,” Herrell said.

Despite those concerns, she recognizes the most important thing is to save as many of our Afghan allies' lives as possible, but also make sure we don’t lose more Americans in the process.

RECOMMENDED: Non-profit organizations in El Paso provide donations to Afghan refugees

“Our number one priority should still be, let’s get every single American out of Afghanistan, but number two we have to protect Americans on the home front and no one wants to see a repeat of a 9/11 situation,” Herrell said.

Herrell said the way tour guides described Holloman Air Force base was like a village for refugees, whereas the Fort Bliss Doña Ana Range Complex in Chaparral is like a town, where around 14,000 are being held.

Comment bubble

Sign up to receive the topmost interesting stories from in and around our community once a day to your inbox

Loading ...