Tampa-Based Rescue Group Plans To Save Americans In Ukraine In Case Of Conflict

Project Dynamo, which is solely donation-based, has already helped evacuate thousands of Americans in Afghanistan.

TAMPA, Fla. — A rescue group based in Tampa is in Ukraine with plans to save Americans should war break out. 

Project Dynamo, an organization made up of current and former U.S. military members, states uncertainty is buying them time for the worst-case scenario.

“If war breaks out and it is a conflict zone, make no mistake Americans will be here, and they won’t want to be here,” co-founder Bryan Stern said from Kiev, Ukraine.

The donation-funded organization started as a means to rescue Americans out of Afghanistan

Stern said that remains their main focus but are in Ukraine after President Joe Biden announced he won’t be sending troops if evacuations are necessary. 

“That is a call to action,” Stern said. “If we’re able to help and we are.”

The conflict is concerning some Ukrainian Americans in the nation, including in Tampa Bay, but Stern said he doesn’t sense threats where he’s at so far.

“The airports are open. Everything is open. People can leave. There is no crisis yet,” Stern said. 

For now, Stern said he’s building what he calls “human and physical infrastructure” in anticipation of a crisis. 

Plans underway involving creating networks of trusted allies, rally points, potential safe houses, or permissible routes, he said.

Members of Project Dynamo won’t know how long they’ll be in Ukraine, but said, the risks are worth it, even if conflict doesn’t transpire.

“How could I not? We’re a patriotic organization. We’re not political. We care about Americans wherever they are,” Stern said.

Stern said Project Dynamo’s evacuation efforts rely on donations from sponsors, well-wishers and members of the public. 

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