US airmen help pregnant Afghan mother aboard C-17 evacuation flight deliver baby

An aircraft commander made a quick decision that helped save a pregnant Afgan refugee’s life after she went into labor mid-flight and experienced complications with the delivery.

The evacuation flight departed from a Middle Eastern Intermediate Staging Base after which the mother went into labor and experienced complications. The shrewd commander of the aircraft was able to increase air pressure in the plane by descending altitude, which helped stabilize the mother’s condition and save her life, according to the Air Mobility Command.

The plane ultimately landed at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany on Saturday where she was assisted by airmen from the 86th Medical Group, who helped her deliver her baby girl in the cargo bay of the C-17 aircraft.

Both the newborn and her mother were later brought to a medical facility and are reported to be in good condition.

The Ramstein Air Force Base is slated to temporarily house up to 5,000 Afghan refugees escaping the Taliban takeover and many volunteers and service members have been working nonstop to set up cots, temporary lodging, and sorting through donations for the refugees. The first three planes with evacuees arrived at the base near Kaiserslautern, Germany on Friday.

“Ramstein Airmen have been preparing around-the-clock to provide support, such as temporary lodging, as the base receives aircraft carrying evacuees in the coming days,” Ramstein Air Base tweeted.

“We put ourselves in their shoes — if we had to escape some terrible force and we left all of our things behind, what would we need when we got to a safe place?” Air Force First Sgt. Andrew Wilder told the military publication, Stars and Stripes.

United States service members have been stepping up to provide safety to many Afghan children. Last week an Afghan father lifted his tiny baby high over his head so a U.S. Marine with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit could pull him over the barbed wire fence to safety. The father and baby were later reunited in the Kabul airport.

Ashley Hill

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