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America's New War: Pentagon Orders Military to Prepare for Deployment

Aired September 21, 2001 - 06:34   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.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Time now to check with our Bob Franken, who is at his post this morning at the Pentagon. He has got the latest for us now on the angle from the Pentagon on America's new war -- good morning, Bob.

BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Leon.

And, of course, the story from the Pentagon is the order that's going out to the various military forces to get ready to go.

The latest information, of course, now concerns the reservists. For the last several days, we have heard that there would be a call- up; 35,000 of the reservists in the United States. That's people from the various branches of the military reserves and National Guard.

And now, various Air National Guards and reserve units have been called; 29 states involved. Several of them have more than one unit; Oregon, for instance, has three. All of them are Air National Guard and Air Reserve units. They are part of what is called this Homeland Defense Team. They are going to the ones mainly responsible for domestic protection.

And, of course, that is all part of another aspect of this, and this is the mobilization of various armed forces. You see members of the Army who have been called out to duty. They are being sent to a variety of locations. Oftentimes the operations aren't made public, but many of them are involving special forces, and, of course, all of this is talked about in military terms and geopolitical terms, but as you can see, this is a highly personal matter. These are people who sort of lead separate lives -- live separate lives. On the one hand, of course, they are military people who oftentimes spend long periods away. But every time they do, they leave people behind. And that is a story that is going on in thousands upon thousands of homes as this mobilization continues.

And, of course, there's a real (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Right now, there are three aircraft carriers that will be position soon in the region of the world that is probably the most affected. The Teddy Roosevelt leaving from Norfolk, Virginia the other day is just the latest of the three.

So there is massive firepower, massive men and women power. A lot of aircraft in the area, supplemented, of course, by the big call-up of military aircraft that's going on right now, including everything from B-1s and B-2s to F-15s and F-16s.

So there is a massive mobilization going on, the kind of mobilization we haven't seen since the Persian Gulf War, but one that everybody has come to expect given what has followed the attack on the United States, both here at the Pentagon and the World Trade Center -- Leon.

HARRIS: Bob Franken at the Pentagon -- thank you very much. We'll talk with you down the road.

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