The U.S. military has coordinated its air war and logistical support for its Afghan mission from the Bagram air base, about 60 km (40 miles) north of Kabul, and the withdrawal of the forces symbolizes the end of the U.S. military involvement in the country.
The base is being handed over to the Afghan government as its armed forces face a surging war with the Taliban and questions swirl about their prospects. An Afghan official said the base would be officially handed over to the government at a ceremony on Saturday (July 3).
The U.S. defense official said General Austin Miller, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan "still retains all the capabilities and authorities to protect the force" that are stationed in the capital, Kabul.
Two other U.S. security officials said this week the majority of U.S. military personnel would most likely be gone by Sunday (July 4), with a residual force remaining to protect the embassy.