17 Afghan Soldiers Go AWOL from Language School in Texas; 10 Still Missing

Sunday, June 20, 2010
(graphic: Kindle Entertainment)

A U.S. Air Force Base in Texas lost track of 17 military personnel visiting from Afghanistan to study English at a language school. Of the 17 who went AWOL over a period of 18 months from the Defense Language Institute English Language Center at Lackland Air Force Base, 16 disappeared during 2009 and one this year.

When the media asked why the Air Force hadn’t been forthcoming about the AWOL Afghans, spokesman Gary Emery said: “I don’t know if I consider that particularly newsworthy,” adding, “it hasn’t been all at once.”
Republican lawmakers from Texas weren’t nearly as relaxed when they learned about the problem. U.S. Senator John Cornyn wrote in a letter to Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley: “These reports are alarming, as is your department’s failure to provide notification and information regarding each of these egregious incidents.”
Military officials eventually determined the whereabouts of seven of 17 Afghan military officers and enlistees. Two fled to Canada, one became a permanent resident of the United States, and four were arrested. The other 10 were still at large.
Over the past two years, 298 Afghans have completed the English Language Training for Afghans program.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Hunt on for AWOL Afghan Soldiers in US (by Bryant Jordan, Military.com)
Afghans at Language School Go AWOL (by Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News)
Military Accounts for 7 of 17 AWOL Afghans (by Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News)
Afghan Commander Visits DLIELC (by Patrick Desmond, Lackland Air Force Base)


Molamo 11 years ago
Really 17 missing in 18 months and still no trace? something is wrong!!!
Mom 11 years ago
Re Mark J: You really aren't surprised are you????? And this isn't the whole story either....
Mark J 11 years ago
REALLY?! 17 missing over the last 18 months and now alerts are sent out. Homeland security at it's best.

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