Afghans continue to wait around the Kabul International Airport as they try to flee the Afghan capital of Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 20, 2021.

Afghans continue to wait around the Kabul International Airport as they try to flee the Afghan capital of Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 20, 2021. Anadolu Agency via Getty Images / Haroon Sabawoon

Defense Business Brief: Organizations mobilize to get people out of Afghanistan; HII closes Alion deal; Shipbuilders needed; and more

The National Defense Industrial Association, a trade group that represents more than 1,500 defense contractors, is spearheading an effort to help get Afghans who worked for U.S. companies over the past two decades to the United States.

The organization—working on behalf of the Defense and State departments—is compiling a list of human resources contacts from all U.S. firms that employed Afghans. All companies are being asked to fill out this form

“This information will be shared with the departments of Defense and State, which asked NDIA for help in collecting the human-resources details,” the organization said in a Thursday afternoon email.

Afghans qualify for a special immigrant visa if they worked for U.S. contractors for at least one year between October 2001 and now.

More resources for getting Americans, allies, and Afghans who worked for the U.S. companies out of Afghanistan can be found at Society76, which has compiled a list of groups assisting with evacuations and relocations.

The estimated cost of the two-decade war is Afghanistan: $2.26 trillion, according to researchers at Brown University. Roughly $1 trillion of that came from the Pentagon ($933 billion) and State ($59 billion) departments’ war budgets. Another $433 billion came from funds appropriated through the Pentagon’s regular budget. Then there’s $296 billion that was spent caring for Afghanistan war veterans. Finally, since the money was borrowed, it’s accrued some $530 billion in interest. Read more on that here.

Shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries completed its $1.65 billion acquisition of Alion Science and Technology. “Alion provides advanced engineering and R&D services in the areas of ISR, military training and simulation, cyber and data analytics, and other next-generation technology based solutions to the global defense marketplace,” HII said in a statement. “Alion has more than 3,200 employees with over 80% of employees maintaining security clearances.”

Meanwhile, HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding, which makes U.S. Navy aircraft carriers, needs welders and pipefitters. The company, which will build several Ford-class carriers in the coming decade, is hosting a hiring event for pipefitters on Sept. 8. “Newport News is offering $500 sign-on bonuses to select trades trainee and entry-level new hires, where no experience is needed, as well as $1,000 sign-on bonuses to select experienced trades new hires,” the company said. “Additional sign-on bonuses also are being offered to new hires with active security clearances for select trades positions.” More info about the job openings here, and here’s some background on what Newport News is doing to modernize its shipyard.

Next week: The Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. The conference has a defense-heavy agenda this year and we’ll have daily coverage, so make sure you check out Defense One throughout the week.

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