Ark Salus aims to rescue Afghans who assisted the US military during the nearly two-decade-long war.
“We are a group of private American citizens and former U.S. Special Operations advisors with unique expertise who are driven by a moral obligation to assist and protect the Afghans who assisted and protected us,” the group’s website says.
“With our experience and logistical capabilities, Ark Salus is positioned to fulfill our duty and mission to safeguard Afghans, their families and rescue them from Kabul. We will bring them to safety just as they brought safety to U.S. service members for two decades.”
Ark Salus Board member Travis Dale Peterson told The Daily Wire about the initial mission to evacuate the families of commandos.
“Myself and two others developed it about three weeks ago prior to the fall of Kabul,” the Air Force veteran said.
“Our goal was to evacuate the families of the commandos … so the commandos could stay and fight and stand for Kabul.”
Peterson and his team are former U.S. Special Forces personnel, so they understand how high the stakes are.
He highlighted the courage of Afghan troops and said these men are owed protection.
“They’re the most dedicated people I’ve ever seen,” Peterson said.
“Saved my life numerous times, countless times, and I owe them this and I’m talking to them daily, hourly, by the minute, from their command structure all the way down to their lowest guy, trying to come for them.”
Peterson says that his team has rescued around 200 to 300 people thus far.
‘Private’ flights to safety set up by Ark Salus
Six wealthy US citizens are funding a private mission by ex-special forces to fly 5,600 Afghans out of Kabul in eight days.
The plan is to extract Afghan soldiers and police officers – along with their families – who are currently in hiding.
Anonymous benefactors have donated more than $500,000 (£365,000) to an operation dubbed the Wings of Eagles, which will fly 700 out of the country each day until the August 31 deadline.
Former US special forces are particularly keen to rescue members of the Afghan commando anti-terrorism units who they trained since 2003.
The operation is being run by Ark Salus, a veterans charity in Alabama.
Its director Peter Quinn, a former helicopter pilot and intelligence officer who served five tours in Afghanistan, said: ‘We have a moral obligation to our fellow Afghan warriors to safeguard them, their wives and children, and rescue them from Kabul, just as they have brought us home to our families.’