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America's New War:

Aired September 19, 2001 - 05:41   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: America's new war still, though, does not have a specific target or a specific enemy though Osama bin Laden has been named as a prime suspect. But as in all wars ordinary people will be on the front lines and, of course, in harms way.

CNN's Kyra Phillips introduces us to the naval aviators based in Fallon, Nevada where they are now training for battle.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fallon, Nevada -- you've probably never heard of it. It's a bit of a sleepy town but its U.S. naval air station roars.

These are the sounds of Cagnon -- call sign Show Gun because the first strike will define survival in the inevitable danger zone.

These fighters are among one of the most elite air wings in the U.S. military. Nine squadrons, fully integrated and ready for combat.

Military readiness that's preparing these aviators for air superiority and airborne battle management.

CAPTAIN R.C. THOMPSON, AIR WING COMMANDER, UNITED STATES NAVY: The ability to focus fire power where they want and the most important thing is the ability to minimize the damage that's done -- to minimize our exposure to risk while maximizing the potential destruction on the enemy.

PHILLIPS: Captain R.C. Thompson commands this air wing -- an air wing that's prepared for whatever the President of the United States says it has to do.

President Bush says we're at war. Has that sunk in with your air wing?

THOMPSON: Sure. I think that it probably sunk in the day that footage came on television as to what happened in New York City.

PHILLIPS: It's 7:30 a.m.

LIEUTENANT MORGAN HAMON, FIGHTER PILOT, UNITED STATES NAVY: Welcome to the . . .

PHILLIPS: Lieutenant Morgan Hammond briefs his strike element on the day's simulated air to air combat mission.

HAMON: Everyone will go one way -- except Cag, I'd like you to go two ways as a low looker to help out Gus.

PHILLIPS: I other words, practicing to go in and defend against any enemy attack.

These aviators are integrating all warfare areas to disrupt and destroy the enemy, making sure they're in control of their air space and that all bad guys are out of the sky.

HAMON; It's very important to get all elements working together -- the E-2 controllers, the F-18's, the F-14s, all the strike fighters doing missions together so that we can operate.

PHILLIPS: Mission for the day accomplished.

HAMON: We're not just strapping on the jet people and flying. We have specific missions and there's a lot of coordination that we have to practice in order for it to work. It's a dangerous business whether you're doing training or a contingency operation.

PHILLIPS: Americans say they want justice. What does this airway want?

THOMPSON: We're all human -- we have emotions, we have feelings just like every other American but we're also very professional. And quite frankly what we want is to -- is to do our job right. We want to represent the American people when the time comes. We don't want to let them down.

PHILLIPS: Kyra Phillips, CNN, Fallon, Nevada.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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