Baby born during Afghan evacuation named after US aircraft
The girl was born at the US Ramstein Air Base in Germany and was named Reach after the plane's call sign, commander of the US forces in Europe Tod Wolters said at a Pentagon briefing Wednesday.
The Boeing C-17 planes used by the US air force often use the call sign "Reach" followed by a combination of numbers.
The US Air Mobility Command had tweeted on the weekend that a woman went into labor during the flight from Qatar to Germany and had experienced complications.
Her condition improved after the plane descended in altitude to increase air pressure, which helped to save the mother's life. Soldiers helped to deliver the child in the aircraft's cargo bay upon landing, the command said.
The military has since spoken with the parents, Wolters said.
"As you can well imagine, being an Air Force fighter pilot, it's my dream to watch that young child called Reach grow up and be a US citizen and fly United States Air Force fighters in our Air Force," Wolters joked.
The German air base is just a transit point for the evacuees from Afghanistan. At the moment they are generally being flown from there to Dulles International Airport, near Washington DC, and then distributed to US military bases.
Ramstein, near the western German city of Kaiserslautern, is the largest US air base outside the country. Wolters said it currently has capacity for up to 12,000.
Together with other German sites and one base each in Italy, and Spain, Wolters said there was capacity for 25,000 evacuees.
Cover photo: IMAGO / UPI Photo