12:34 PM PDT, August 26, 2021
The baby girl born during a U.S. Military evacuation flight from Afghanistan is being named Reach after the C-17 transport aircraft’s call signal, Reach 828, that carried her family to safety. “They named the little girl Reach and they did so because of the call sign of the C-17 aircraft that flew them from Qatar to Ramstein [the U.S. Air Force base in Germany],” Gen. Tod Wolters, commander of the U.S. Military’s European Command, told reporters.
Wolters also joked that he hoped the baby girl’s unusual birth story would inspire her to join the Air Force herself one day.
“As you can well imagine, being an Air Force fighter pilot, it’s my dream to watch that young child called Reach grow up and be a U.S. citizen and fly United States Air Force fighters in our Air Force,” Wolters said, according to the Military Times.
Her mom had gone into labor while aboard the U.S. Military aircraft on the second leg of her journey fleeing Afghanistan. She quickly began experiencing complications like low blood pressure resulting from the air pressure in the cabin.
In order to help the mother, the pilot descended to a safer altitude, which helped bring more air pressure into the cabin and ultimately “save the mother’s life,” Air Mobility Command said.
When the plane finally landed in the air force base in Germany, a group of airmen were able to help her deliver her baby girl and transport her to a medical facility.
“We have heard that the mom and baby are both doing fine,” Captain Frederick M. Wallace, of the Air Mobility Command, told Inside Edition Digital.
According to the White House, the U.S. has helped evacuate nearly 100,000 Afghans since the Taliban seized power on August 14.