News



DATE=5/6/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-231807
TITLE=GULF TROOPS HOME (S-ONLY-UPDATE)
BYLINE=JIM RANDLE
DATELINE=PENTAGON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 


INTRO:  PRESIDENT CLINTON SAYS HE HAS  NOT  DECIDED WHETHER OR  
NOT  TO REDUCE U-S MILITARY FORCES NEAR IRAQ.  BUT ONE AIRCRAFT 
CARRIER, WITH THOUSANDS OF SAILORS AND DOZENS OF PLANES, IS 
SCHEDULED TO HEAD HOME BEFORE A REPLACEMENT SHIP IS SCHEDULED TO 
ARRIVE.  V-O-A'S JIM RANDLE REPORTS FROM THE PENTAGON. 

TEXT:  CURRENTLY THERE ARE 35-THOUSAND-800 AMERICAN SAILORS, 
SOLDIERS, MARINES AND AIRMEN WATCHING IRAQ.  THEY ARE DEPLOYED IN
NEIGHBORING NATIONS AND ON SHIPS IN THE PERSIAN GULF.  THE 
AIRCRAFT CARRIERS U-S-S STENNIS AND THE U-S-S INDEPENDENCE ARE 
THE BACKBONE OF THE U-S FLEET THERE. 

THE INDEPENDENCE IS THE OLDEST SHIP IN THE U-S NAVY AND IS SLATED
TO HEAD HOME ONE LAST TIME AT THE END OF MAY.  AND NAVY  
OFFICIALS SAY THE SCHEDULED REPLACEMENT, THE U-S-S EISENHOWER,  
ISN'T EVEN SLATED TO LEAVE ITS AMERICAN HOME PORT UNTIL MID JUNE.
PENTAGON OFFICIALS SAY THAT LEAVES THE PRESIDENT WITH A CHOICE --
KEEP THE OLD SHIP ON STATION FOR A WHILE LONGER, OR CONTEND WITH 
REDUCED FORCES FOR A FEW WEEKS. 

THERE ARE CURRENTLY 355 AIRCRAFT IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE TO PERSIAN
GULF COMMANDERS, THE DEPARTURE OF AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER REDUCES 
THAT BY 74.  IT ALSO CUTS THE NUMBER OF U-S SERVICE MEMBERS IN 
THE AREA BY ABOUT FIVE-THOUSAND.  (SIGNED)

NEB/JR/MMK

06-May-98 3:36 PM EDT (1936 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.