U.S. Troops Stand Ready to Help Diplomats as Sudan Conflict Continues

  • Published
  • By Jim Garamone
  • DOD News

The evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, was handled professionally and with precision, and U.S. service members in the region stand ready to help the State Department if needed, said Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder at the Pentagon today.

Ryder underscored Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's thanks to the around 100 special operations forces that evacuated about 70 members of the U.S. embassy staff on Saturday. Three MH-47 Chinook helicopters landed on the grounds of the embassy and in less than an hour loaded the staff and left the area.

Fighting still rages between forces led by two generals in Khartoum and more than 450 people have been killed and an estimated 4,000 wounded, according to the United Nations. There are still an estimated 16,000 Americans in Sudan. 

"In terms of next steps, U.S. Africa Command and the Department of Defense continue to work closely with [the] State Department, which has the lead for helping American citizens wishing to depart Sudan," Ryder said. "Those efforts include providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to observe potential land routes out of Sudan to detect threats, and positioning naval assets off the coast of Sudan should they be needed."

White House officials said these unmanned aerial vehicles provided real-time intelligence to a United Nations-led effort that left Khartoum for Port Sudan. 

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Truxton is off the coast of Port Sudan, and will soon be joined by the USS Puller, an expeditionary sea base ship. "Those capabilities will be there should we need to use them in support of the State Department's efforts," Ryder said.


In addition, Africa Command has established a deconfliction cell at its headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, which helps to enable good communication among our allies and partners. The cell helps coordinate flights to and from Sudan as countries seek to evacuate their nationals.

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