Goldbelt employees among those evacuated from Afghanistan

Post-withdrawal evacuation coordinated with help from Washington

Goldbelt Inc. employees, along with other Americans and Afghan allies were successfully evacuated from Afghanistan and have arrived in Qatar, Rep. Don Young’s, R-Alaska, office announced Friday.

According to Young’s office, amid deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan, Young worked with officials at the U.S. State Department, the White House, U.S. Department of Defense and private organizations to secure the safe passage of the American citizens.

Young’s office said Goldbelt employees were among the American citizens who were unable to be evacuated before the full withdrawal of U.S. forces. Young called the U.S. withdrawal “botched” and drew comparisons to the end of the Vietnam War.

[Report: Labor challenges likely to impact pandemic recovery]

“Perhaps most egregious was the fact that so many were left behind; this was unacceptable,” Young said. “Among those left behind were employees of Alaska’s Goldbelt, Inc, making the situation even more perilous. As conditions deteriorated, my staff and I worked around the clock to secure these employees’ safe passage.”

Goldbelt President and CEO McHugh Pierre said in a statement corporation employees had been working supporting the State Department in Afghanistan for more than three years. Goldbelt notified the State Department of the potential vulnerability of the former employees who are Afghan nationals, Pierre said, and began the coordination effort to move them and their families to safety. Goldbelt took the lead by coordinating with the team because of an existing relationship with the State Department, Pierre said.

“I especially want to thank (Young) and his staff for leveraging their extensive experience with both the State Department and the White House, which aided Goldbelt in the safe evacuation of its former Afghan national employees,” Pierre said.

Goldbelt charted a plane for the employees, according to Young’s office, and the corporation is now finished with the effort.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.

More in News

Aurora Forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Feb. 5

Folks at the Alaska State Capitol openly admit to plenty of fish tales, but to a large degree in ways intended to benefit residents and sometimes even the fish. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The bizarre bills other state legislatures are considering

Alaska’s Legislature isn’t mulling the headline-grabbers some statehouses have in the works.

This photo shows snow-covered hills in the Porcupine River Tundra in the Yukon Territories, Canada. In July 1997, a hunter contacted troopers in Fairbanks, Alaska, and reported finding a human skull along the Porcupine River, around 8 miles (13 kilometers) from the Canadian border. Investigators used genetic genealogy to help identify the remains as those of Gary Frank Sotherden, according to a statement Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, from Alaska State Troopers. (AP Photo / Rick Bowmer)
Skull found in ‘97 in Interior belongs to New York man

A skull found in a remote part of Alaska’s Interior in 1997… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Officer William Hicks stands with JPD Chief Ed Mercer and Deputy Chief David Campbell during a swearing in ceremony for Hicks on Thursday at the JPD station in Lemon Creek. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
New officer joins JPD’s ranks

The Juneau Police Department welcomed a new officer to its ranks Thursday… Continue reading

These photos show Nova, a 3-year-old golden retriever, and the illegally placed body hold trap, commonly referred to as a Conibear trap, that caught her while walking near Outer Point Trail last week. (Courtesy / Jessica Davis)
Dog narrowly survives rare illegally placed trap in Juneau

State wildlife officials outlined what to do if found in similar situation

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Public defender agency to refuse some cases, citing staffing

ANCHORAGE — A state agency that represents Alaskans who cannot afford their… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police: Gift card scam connected to hoax Fred Meyer threats

This article has been moved in front of the Empire’s paywall. A… Continue reading

This is a concept design drawing that was included in the request for proposal sent out by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities seeking outside engineering and design services to determine whether it’s feasible to build a new ferry terminal facility in Juneau at Cascade Point. (Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities)
DOT takes steps toward potential Cascade Point ferry terminal facility

It would accommodate the Tazlina and or Hubbard, shorten trips to Haines and Skagway

Most Read