WASHINGTON (WNCN/AP) – The United States completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan late Monday, ending America’s longest war and closing a chapter in military history.
Hours ahead of President Joe Biden’s Tuesday deadline for shutting down a final airlift, and thus ending the U.S. war, Air Force transport planes carried a remaining contingent of troops from Kabul airport.
The Department of Defense said the last American soldier to leave Afghanistan was Maj. Gen. Chris Donahue, commander of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps.
He boarded a C-17 cargo plane at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan in the final minutes of Monday.
The U.S. Army said Donahue previously served as the commander of the Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.
He has deployed 17 times in support of operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, North Africa, and Eastern Europe.
In announcing the completion of the evacuation and war effort. Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, said the last planes took off from Kabul airport at 3:29 p.m. Washington time, or one minute before midnight in Kabul.
He said a number of American citizens, likely numbering in “the very low hundreds,” were left behind, and that he believes they will still be able to leave the country.