A major Air Force command confirmed a passenger gave birth to a baby girl aboard a U.S. military evacuation flight on Aug. 21.
U.S. Air Mobility Command confirmed the C-17 transport aircraft safely arrived at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, carrying a tiny extra passenger.
An Afghan woman went into labor while she was still mid-flight, shortly after taking off from Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Medical support personnel from the 86th Medical Group help an Afghan mother and family off a U.S. Air Force C-17, call sign Reach 828, moments after she delivered a child aboard the aircraft upon landing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Aug. 21. (cont..) pic.twitter.com/wqR9dFlW1o— Air Mobility Command (@AirMobilityCmd) August 21, 2021
Although the mother began to experience complications, the plane could not turn back after already reaching its typical height above ground. The aircraft commander quickly lowered the plane altitude to increase air pressure. This saved the mother’s life.
During a flight from an Intermediate Staging Base in the Middle East, the mother went into labor and began having complications. The aircraft commander decided to descend in altitude to increase air pressure in the aircraft, which helped stabilize and save the mother’s life.— Air Mobility Command (@AirMobilityCmd) August 21, 2021
As soon as the plane landed 86th medical group airmen rushed to the cargo bay and helped the mother deliver the child.
The mother and her baby girl were transported to a neighboring medical facility, where they are both in a stable condition.
Upon landing, Airmen from the 86th MDG came aboard and delivered the child in the cargo bay of the aircraft. The baby girl and mother were transported to a nearby medical facility and are in good condition.— Air Mobility Command (@AirMobilityCmd) August 21, 2021
Various Twitter users speculated whether the baby would be granted U.S. citizenship. Some believe she would be while others were more skeptical.
The United States grants citizenship to children born in airspace, even if their parents are from another country. This is provided if delivery occurs in U.S. airspace or waters, according to the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual.
“A U.S.-registered aircraft outside U.S. airspace is not considered to be part of U.S. territory,” the manual said. “A child born on such an aircraft outside U.S. airspace does not acquire U.S. citizenship by reason of the place of birth.”
Unfortunately, Germany requires at least one of the baby’s parents to be a legal resident of the country for at least eight years. It also requires holding permanent right of residence for the child to acquire citizenship–even if the child was born in domestic airspace.
Although the infant might continue to be an Afghan refugee, it is still a blessing the family escaped Taliban violence.
“Welcome to the world, princess freedom,” SaveTheBees commented.
Will this child be considered a US citizen since it was born on a US Air Force plane? Welcome to the world princess Freedom.— SaveTheBees🐝🌊🇺🇸 (@PattieSmitty) August 22, 2021