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U-S Redeploying Military Forces - 2001-09-19


U-S Defense Department officials say the United States is redeploying military forces worldwide in support of a planned offensive against terrorism.

Media reports say the Pentagon is sending 100 planes overseas that include ground attack fighters, long-range bombers, high-flying ground surveillance planes and fuel tanker planes for mid-air refueling duty. The reports also say the planes will go to the Persian Gulf region.

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz says military movements are underway and more are planned. He also says few details will be officially released to prevent people from, in his words, "trying to figure out what we're about to do next."

Media reports say the movement of planes has been dubbed "Operation Infinite Justice."

Meanwhile, a U-S Navy battle group led by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt has set sail from the eastern United States. The Roosevelt's final destination is unknown. It was to have been sent on a routine six-month deployment to the Mediterranean.

The carrier group, with 15-thousand sailors and marines, includes about 13 warships, more than 80 aircraft and a two thousand-member Marine amphibious landing force. It also includes guided missile cruisers, destroyers and at least one submarine.

Defense officials are quoted as saying two other carrier groups are already in the Indian Ocean.

Since the September 11th terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the Pentagon has imposed a news blackout on details of what President Bush is calling the first war of the 21st century.

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