WASHINGTON, United States — An Afghan girl born aboard a US military plane as her family was fleeing Taliban rule was named Reach after the aircraft’s code name, US military officials said Wednesday.
The baby’s mother went into labor on Saturday while being flown to a US military base in Germany. As soon as the plane landed, military medics helped the woman deliver her baby in the cargo hold of the plane. The mother and child were then taken to a nearby hospital.
Each US Air Force aircraft has a code name to communicate with other aircraft and control towers, and the code for C-17 cargo planes is usually “Reach” followed by a number.
The code name for the plane that brought the Afghan family to safety was Reach 828 — and that’s how the parents decided to name the child, said General Tod Wolters, the head of US European Command.
Reach and her parents are headed to the United States along with other Afghan refugees, Wolters said.
Of the 7,000 people evacuated from Kabul who had passed through US bases in Europe since August 20, only 100 required medical care.
Of those 100 people, 25 have been admitted to a local hospital and 12 have already been discharged. Two other babies were born after their mothers landed at the Ramstein base, Wolters said.