Texas Congressman August Pfluger (R-TX11) told Odessa Headlines in a statement that over 600 Afghan pilots, service-members, and family members of his constituents are stranded in the country of Uzbekistan, and that he is working to get them extracted to safety as the Taliban puts immense pressure on the Uzbek government to repatriate them back to Afghanistan to face reprisals. 

“From what we know at this moment, there are nearly 600 Afghan pilots, service-members, and their families stranded in Uzbekistan, including family members of TX-11 constituents,” Pfluger wrote, responding to a request for comment from Odessa Headlines.

“The Uzbek government is under immense pressure from the Taliban to repatriate these individuals back to Afghanistan to face reprisals. I am working with individuals across our government and in Uzbekistan to ensure our promises to these brave men and women are kept and protect them from harm’s way.”

Congressman August Pfluger

Pfluger hasn’t minced words in addressing the crisis in Afghanistan, describing the incident as the worst foreign policy catastrophe since Saigon and blasted President Joe Biden for refusing to accept responsibility for the botched exit, and for failing to protect Americans and American assets. 

“President Biden should be in the situation room day-in and day-out ensuring these two priorities are swiftly met. Instead, he remains on vacation hiding from the media and saving face from our allies, partners, and the U.S. service members and their families all of whom he failed” Pfluger wrote in an exclusive statement. 

Pfluger expanded on the importance of protecting people and property, saying it is a top priority for the United States to “provide all necessary resources to get Americans out of Afghanistan and prevent them from being subjected to the brutal Taliban regime,” and continued further saying that military weapons and technology should not fall into the hands of the Taliban. 

“All other efforts should be made towards ensuring our top-grade, tax-payer paid military assets and equipment do not fall into the hands of the Taliban,” Pfluger wrote. 

Images have littered social media and news reports of US military weapons and gear being amassed and wielded by Taliban militants after the equipment was abandoned during the Biden Administration’s botched exit.  

According to reports, the United States spent roughly $83 billion in arming the Afghan army, top-of-the-line military weapons that include everything up to combat aircraft that has now largely fallen to the benefit of America’s adversary. 

Pfluger also insisted that anyone who is currently trying to get out of Afghanistan contact his office in Washington D.C. at 202-225-3605 and that they will provide them with immediate assistance.

Matt Stringer is a journalist from Odessa, Texas.