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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Convey Moving Food, Water, Fuel, Ammunition

Aired March 22, 2003 - 05:04   ET

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

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: In the desert today, Dr. Sanjay Gupta is with the Marines. Earlier in the week, we met up with Sanjay, who is at Camp Iwo Jima. We know today that Sanjay is still in Kuwait, the northern part of the country. And the weather is a bit nasty today, a bit of a sand storm at times.
Sanjay -- good afternoon. What's happening there?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good afternoon, Bill. Yes, we are at an undisclosed location. I don't want to tell you exactly where we are, but we are with a military convoy, part of the 1st Marine Expeditionary force. Conveys are a really important part of the entire plan obviously to try and re- supply, bring some supplies up.

I am wearing a MOPP suit. Bill, you are familiar with these. You've seen these. I can tell you one thing about them. They are very good at protecting you from any kind of chemical and biological sort of weapon, but they're also very hot. It's hot out here today.

I also want to introduce you to someone, Lieutenant Philpot (ph), who is the convoy commander. I just want to ask him a few questions, Bill, a little bit about what a convey does and introduce you to him.

First of all, thank you for joining us.

Not a problem.

GUPTA: Tell us a little bit about this convey. We're getting some big pictures. Tell us how long it is and what you can about it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a good size convoy. We're going to run it about three miles long. What we're going to do is move some cargo up north, make sure that everybody that needs the cargo is sustained, and continue with our mission.

GUPTA: What is the biggest concern about doing this sort of thing? You know, we're three days, four days, depending on how you look at it, into a war. You're moving a very large convoy. What are your concerns as the commander?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Security is the foremost concern. I want to make sure you're taking all of the precautions as far any possibility that can occur to you. We have immediate actions to take care of that, and everybody is well-trained to adapt.

GUPTA: And sort of support within the terms of the support, in terms of security for the convoy. Can you talk about that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's what my team does. We have security and command and control. We spread the Marines out throughout the convoy with different weapon systems, a security element. And they make sure the convoy is not going to have any problems.

GUPTA: About three miles long is this convoy, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's correct.

GUPTA: Now, tell me about some of the things that it's going to actually be transporting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Different classes of cargo as far as food, water, fuel, ammunition -- all of the things you need to sustain a combat unit.

GUPTA: Yes, OK, and other thing we just mentioned, Bill and I were talking about the MOPP suits...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

GUPTA: ... which stands for the military operation preparedness suits essentially. You are wearing one right now. Can you talk about that? First of all, what does it do? What does it protect you against?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's for the possibility of any kind of NBC attack. We know that there's a possible threat out there, so we want the Marines and soldiers to be ready just in case.

GUPTA: But there has been no actual confirmed chemical or biological...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There has been none. There have been no reports, but you know, we're not going to take a chance, and make sure that everybody is protected.

GUPTA: Are you pretty warm in that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I am.

GUPTA: All right. Thank you very much for joining us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not a problem.

GUPTA: Bill, a very large convoy, we are part of this, three miles long. We are going to be doing exactly what the lieutenant was saying. We're trying to move all of these supplies up.

Obviously, I won't say exactly where we are because of security concerns, but back to you, Bill, in Kuwait City.

HEMMER: All right, Dr. Sanjay Gupta again with the U.S. Marines in northern Kuwait.

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