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U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan at least 30% complete, CENTCOM says

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III walks with the commander of Combined Security Transition Command–Afghanistan, Army Lt. Gen. E. John Deedrick Jr., in Kabul in March. Photo by Lisa Ferdinando/DoD
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III walks with the commander of Combined Security Transition Command–Afghanistan, Army Lt. Gen. E. John Deedrick Jr., in Kabul in March. Photo by Lisa Ferdinando/DoD | License Photo

June 1 (UPI) -- The United States withdrawal from Afghanistan is between 30 and 44% complete, U.S. Central Command said in a press release Tuesday.

According to the release, as of 10 a.m. Monday, the United States has officially handed over six facilities to the Afghan Ministry of Defense, and anticipates additional transfers of bases and assets in the future.

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The Department of Defense has moved about 300 C-17 planes' cargo loads of materiel out of Afghanistan and turned over nearly 13,000 pieces of equipment to the Defense Logistics Agency for disposition, according to CENTCOM.

CENTCOM, which is providing weekly reports on the progress of the U.S. exit from Afghanistan, also noted that it is only providing an approximate range of the percentage of completed work for operational security reasons.

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"As the responsible and orderly exit continues, the size of the range will increase to preserve operational security," CENTCOM said.

"This update includes the progress on the retrograde of troops and equipment from Afghanistan, the turning over of equipment and facilities to the ANDSF, as well as the destruction of some equipment," officials said.

Last week, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told lawmakers that the retrograding of the U.S. presence in Afghanistan is proceeding slightly ahead of schedule -- with a CENTCOM report saying the withdrawal was nearly one-quarter complete.

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In April, President Joe Biden ordered that U.S. troops be withdrawn from Afghanistan by Sept. 11.

That announcement extended a May 2021 deadline set under former President Donald Trump's administration, but defense officials told The New York Times last week that they are now treating mid-July as the deadline.

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