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Afghan Baby Born On U.S. Military Plane Named After Aircraft

The baby was born on August 21 after her mother went into labor while being flown to the U.S. military’s Ramstein Air Base in Germany following an evacuation from Kabul airport. (file photo)

An Afghan baby born aboard a U.S. military plane after her family fled Kabul has been named after the aircraft, a U.S. military official said.

The girl was named Reach after the plane's call sign, said General Tod Wolters, head of the U.S. European Command, at a briefing on August 25.

The baby's mother went into labor on August 21 while being flown from Qatar to the U.S. military’s Ramstein Air Base in Germany and experienced complications. Her condition improved after the plane descended to increase air pressure, which helped to save the mother's life.

Military medics helped the woman deliver her baby in the cargo hold of the plane after it landed. The mother and child were then taken to a hospital. Reach and her parents will eventually head to the United States, Wolters said.

"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 joked.

Each U.S. Air Force aircraft has a code name to communicate with other aircraft and control towers. The code name for the plane that brought the Afghan family to safety was Reach 828 -- and that's how the parents decided to name the child.

Of the thousands of people who passed through U.S. bases in Europe since August 20 after being evacuated from Kabul, only 100 required medical care, including two other mothers whose babies were born after they landed at the base, Wolters said.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa