Goldbelt successfully evacuates Americans from Afghanistan with aid from Don Young - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, October 18, 2021
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Goldbelt successfully evacuates Americans from Afghanistan with aid from Don Young

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Goldbelt Inc., an Alaska Native Corporation based in Juneau, has successfully evacuated its American workers, former workers, and Afghan allies from Afghanistan, it said today.

With the help of Congressman Young and his staff, employees of Goldbelt, Inc, along with other Americans, and Afghan allies, have been flown to safety and have landed in Qatar.

Amid deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan, Alaska Congressman Don Young worked with officials at the State Department, the White House, the Department of Defense, and with private organizations to secure their safe passage, according to a joint statement from Goldbelt CEO McHugh Pierre and Congressman Young.

“It was difficult to watch what happened in Afghanistan last month, particularly when our brave U.S. servicemembers were killed in the line of duty. As I have previously said, what happened in Kabul reminded me of what we saw in Saigon as the Vietnam War ended. The botched withdrawal created conditions that endangered lives, and resulted in the deaths of American soldiers and countless innocent civilians,” said Congressman Don Young.

“Perhaps most egregious was the fact that so many were left behind; this was unacceptable. 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. I am both pleased and relieved that Goldbelt’s employees successfully escaped Afghanistan and safely landed in Qatar. This was a herculean effort, and I want to thank the Goldbelt team, in addition to Air Force veteran Michael Songer, my Senior Legislative Assistant and Defense Policy Advisor, for his unyielding commitment to getting them out of harm’s way. The sad fact is that this is not over, and there are still Americans and Afghan allies facing the Taliban’s brutality. I will continue pushing the Administration to do the right thing and get them to safety,” Young said.

“Goldbelt, Inc. was working in Afghanistan supporting the State Department for more than three years,” Pierre said. The company had U.S. nationals working in country and hired Afghan nationals to support those in-country operations.”

When the transition of power began to occur, Goldbelt moved its U.S. national employees to safety by flying them home.

Goldbelt immediately reached out to the State Department to raise awareness of the potential vulnerability of the former employees who are Afghan nationals and begin 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.

“We had one plane chartered and those people are now moved to safety. Goldbelt is now finished with this effort, and thanks everyone involved in making it possible. I especially want to thank Congressman Don 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, Inc. is an urban Alaska Native Corporation formed in 1974. Goldbelt has extensive federal contracts, which represent about 96 percent of its revenue sources. It’s involved in IT work; medical services; and military support, including providing weapons, ammunition, and vehicles. It has contracts with the Department of Army, Department of Navy, and the State Department.

In Kabul, the company has a subsidiary that did prescreening for the Green Zone in Kabul for the Bureau of International Narcotic and Law Enforcement Affairs. Examples of Goldbelt’s military and other contracts can be found at this link.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • About time.

  • Praise God! Thank you to all the brave people who helped.

  • Goldbelt has real leadership under McHugh Pierre! Elected officials in this state should take note of what he’s doing and try to emulate it.

  • Where was Swampy Dan? It took too long, but at least Young acted.

  • Great job! Now lets focus on the idiot(s) who caused this travesty.

  • Where was Lisa Murkowski? Only 3 years & 28 days to go until the reset button is pressed for the next president in 2024.

  • I remain unconvinced that Goldbelt, undertaking an extremely risky work assignment with a commensurate potential for profits, is much of a victim here. What could possibly go wrong in Afghanistan? A secondary question: Were any Alaskans involved?

    • JMARK, nothing could have gone wrong in Afghanistan UNTIL President Biden made his singular fateful decision to run from our allies and desert Americans. Remember, President Carter and his 52 hostages for 444 days in Iran. Joe Biden is working on day 42 (as of 12 October) with more than 200 Americans and countless Afghan allies who will now be stoned, beheaded or removed from society.

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