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Mission Reinforced: Zekelman Industries helps make Kabul airlift rescue a success

October 13, 2021

CHICAGOOct. 13, 2021 — Zekelman Industries funded $1 million of a $1.1 million Task Force Argo mission — chartering two flights into and out of Kabul, Afghanistan — that successfully rescued 534 American citizens and lawful permanent residents, spouses and children after the U.S. military withdrew from the city.

When Army veteran Jim Young of Sabot Development reached out to Zekelman Industries, EVP Mickey McNamara and Chairman and CEO Barry Zekelman jumped on the opportunity to save lives and greenlighted the company’s participation.

“We went all in when our good friend and business partner Jim Young reached out to see if we could support this,” Zekelman said. “We felt privileged to be able to do so — to support those who have served and to play a part in rescuing American citizens, lawful permanent residents, spouses and children. It was the right thing to do. When we say, ‘Life Reinforced,’ it’s more than a marketing campaign to us; it’s a purpose statement. And this is a great example of what it means.”

The Task Force Argo team moved quickly, sourcing equipment, handling logistics and extraditing those rescued in six days. Amid the minute-to-minute chaos and ever-changing manifests in the face of ever-shifting Taliban rules, the team kept moving forward and diplomatically coordinated with contacts in Kabul, the U.S. Department of Defense and Department of State to confirm and properly vet the passenger lists and clear all passengers for landing in Abu Dhabi. The team is continuing to work to secure safe passage for all evacuees to their final destinations.

About Zekelman Industries
Zekelman Industries includes the operating divisions of Atlas Tube, Picoma, Sharon Tube, Wheatland Tube, Western Tube and Z Modular. It is the largest independent manufacturer of hollow structural sections (HSS) and steel pipe, and the top producer of electrical conduit and elbows, couplings, and nipples in North America.