@StateDept Appoints Ambassador Elizabeth Jones to CARE (For Afghanistan)

 

At the Daily Press Briefing of October 12, 2021, the State Department announced the appointment of Ambassador Elizabeth Jones as Coordinator for Afghan Relocation Efforts or CARE for short, as Foggy Bottom is fond of acronyms.
… So we are extraordinarily grateful and honored to welcome back to the Department someone I think many of you know well, and that’s Ambassador Elizabeth Jones. Ambassador Jones is assuming oversight of the entire Afghan relocation effort, from our ongoing efforts to facilitate the departure of individuals from Afghanistan, to their onward relocation, going to the so-called lily pads in the Middle East and elsewhere, and possible future resettlement here in the United States.
She is someone who in many ways is uniquely qualified to take on this role – her first assignment as a Foreign Service officer was in Kabul – and is a member of the Senior Foreign Service. She was what was then known as deputy SRAP, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. She’s been our ambassador to Kazakhstan, and she has been an assistant secretary here twice over, once to our Near Eastern Affairs Bureau and also to our Bureau of European Affairs.
And so as the new CARE – we like our acronyms here, but the Coordinator for Afghan Relocation Efforts – she will focus not only on the very complex issues related to relocation and resettlement but also on outreach: outreach to our partners with whom we’re working very closely in the advocacy community, in the veterans community; our partners, of course, in Congress; all of you we consider our partners as well; and to our international partners to help effectuate and streamline all of it.
And so just to put a period on this, CARE, the coordinator’s office, really has four key functions. One, as I said, is the relocation of individuals out of Afghanistan for individuals who so choose to depart. Two is the third-country transit and processing outside of the United States. Three is resettlement in the United States, and of course, there will be heavy coordination with DHS and with Governor Markell and his office at the White House. And then four, overall outreach and engagement, and we understand just how important that is. There are many stakeholders who have a keen interest in this and who have demonstrated a keen ability to help move forward our collective mission to bring out of Afghanistan those who wish to leave, those to whom we have a special commitment, and we look forward to continuing to work with them.
The AP’s Matt Lee asked “On CARE, really, who came up with this acronym? Did you ask the actual CARE – ?”
Ned Price, the Department Spokesperson said “Matt, we have a lot of acronyms in this building. This is probably one of the better ones.”
Lee responded “Yeah. But there’s particular significance to the acronym CARE and how it relates to the Marshall Plan, and what the Secretary was doing in Paris last week. Did anyone think about that? No? All right.”
Alright. Alright. Alright.
Wondering how this job of relocating people who still want to leave can be done without USG presence in the country.  Also we’re interested to know who is the protecting power for the United States in Afghanistan? You are welcome to send us a whisper.
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USG to Mount ‘Operation Allies Refuge’ to Relocate Afghans Who Aided United States

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BUT the seats in question are 0.3 inches wider than regular economy seats!!!

The Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) is an independent tribunal housed within the General Services Administration. The CBCA presides over various disputes involving Federal executive branch agencies. Its primary responsibility is to resolve contract disputes between government contractors and agencies under the Contract Disputes Act. In addition to contract disputes, the Board also adjudicates cases related to travel and relocation.
The following case relates to a Department of State employee assigned overseas who requested reimbursement of travel expenses for extended economy seating (EES) which was authorized on his orders. The agency denied his request after determining that the circumstances of his travel did not meet the agency’s requirements for reimbursement. The Board granted the claim.
This was a claim from a few years ago, but we were tickled by the 0.3 inches wider economy seat argument. Given what we’re seeing these days, my gosh!
Via CBCA 5686-RELO
Claimant is a foreign service officer currently assigned to Vietnam. On August 15, 2016, claimant and his spouse traveled twenty-three hours from Washington, D.C. to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam pursuant to permanent change of station (PCS) orders. Claimant’s orders authorized extended economy seating at the rate of $300 per person. Although the trip was booked on American Airlines,1 the leg from Boston, Massachusetts to Tokyo, Japan was operated by Japan Airlines (JAL). At the ticket counter in Boston, claimant inquired about upgrading his seats to extended economy, consistent with his authorization. The agent confirmed that such seats were available and reassured claimant that the seats were located in economy class. Claimant upgraded his seats for the sum of $600. His request for reimbursement of the cost of extended economy seating was denied.

I understand that you were authorized extended economy seating on your [travel orders], however, per guidance set forth by TTM-A/LM Transportation Branch and the guidance cable you have attached, not all airlines have economy seating available. In addition, TTM informed us that “premium” economy [programs] are not reimbursable as we are not reporting this under the Department’s mandatory annual Premium Class Travel Report. Based on our research on the Japan Airlines website and the seat guru site, Japan Airlines offers “premium” economy with extra services . . . and the seat guru showed that all Japan Airlines aircraft[] have [a] distinct premium economy cabin.

In response to the denial, Claimant requested a review of the decision, stating:

JAL Extended Economy is still Economy Class seating in [an] economy cabin with additional leg room, and seems to fit within [the] definition . . . My travel was over 14 hours at the allowable cost, and I did not take a rest stop or purchase business lounge [access]. . . The claim reviewer has only stated her reason [for denial] as JAL providing additional entertainment services in extended economy. Nowhere does the [Foreign Affairs Manual] or guidance mention entertainment services as something to preclude use of extended economy seating.

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