Fort Bliss Investigates Assault of Female Servicemember by Afghan Evacuees

The FBI is investigating an incident at Fort Bliss after a female servicemember was assaulted by a group of male evacuees from Afghanistan, according to officials.

Fort Bliss reported a "small group" of men assaulted the unidentified woman on September 19 at the Doña Ana Complex in New Mexico where Afghan refugees are being housed.

"We take the allegation seriously and appropriately referred the matter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation," Fort Bliss officials said in a statement. "The safety and well-being of our service members, as well as all of those on our installations, is paramount."

No details about the assault or the suspects have been released but officials said they "immediately provided appropriate care, counseling and support to the service member."

Fort Bliss Military Base
Officials reported that a female U.S. servicemember was assaulted by a small group of male Afghan evacuees on September 19. The photo above shows the entrance to the Fort Bliss military base, where the assault is said to have occurred. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Fort Bliss announced plans to enhance security by increasing health and safety patrols, adding additional lighting and enforcing a buddy system.

The U.S. military servicemember who made the report was among 1,000 supporting Operation Allies Welcome. The operation is to "support vulnerable Afghans, including those who worked alongside us in Afghanistan for the past two decades, as they safely resettle in the United States," according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

After military officials publicized the news of the servicemember's assault, Republicans took to Twitter to criticize the Biden administration.

Joe Biden made a decision to shove tens of thousands people on planes to make it look like his botched evacuation was going well. The truth is he had no idea who he brought to the US. That's why I led a letter today demanding accountability and answers. https://t.co/sTVqysGFla

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) September 24, 2021

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas tweeted, "Joe Biden made a decision to shove tens of thousands people on planes to make it look like his botched evacuation was going well. The truth is he had no idea who he brought to the US. That's why I led a letter today demanding accountability and answers."

Representative Yvette Herrell, a Republican congresswoman who represents New Mexico's 2nd congressional district, also called out Presidnt Biden.

"My prayers are with the courageous soldier and her family. This is yet another tragic failure in the vetting process for Afghan nationals. The American people deserve answers," she wrote.

My prayers are with the courageous soldier and her family. This is yet another tragic failure in the vetting process for Afghan nationals. The American people deserve answers.https://t.co/UB8ehTjCwO

— Rep. Yvette Herrell (@RepHerrell) September 24, 2021

Fort Bliss is one of eight U.S. military sites hosting Afghan refugees. Families are kept together inside dormitories that can accommodate up to 100 people and single men and women are kept separate.

More than 65,000 people fled Afghanistan after the Taliban took over Kabul, and as of September 10, Fort Bliss received 80 flights with incoming refugees.

Newsweek reached out to Fort Bliss for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.