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USS Kitty Hawk Departs for Unknown Location - 2001-10-02


Another U.S aircraft carrier has set sail in the growing military buildup triggered by last month's terrorist attacks. Defense officials say the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk steamed out of port in Japan. But they will not specify its destination. They say only that the vessel's mission is in support of Operation Enduring Freedom - the code name of the planned U.S. military response to the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

Five other aircraft carriers are already underway worldwide along with scores of supporting vessels, including destroyers, submarines and amphibious assault ships complete with Marine units.

In addition, hundreds of aircraft have been deployed in the wake of the terrorist attacks. These include heavy bombers as well as fighters.

Special forces troops are also on the move.

The focus of the movements remains Afghanistan, where terrorist suspect Osama bin Laden is believed to be in hiding. The United States has called on Afghanistan's Taleban leaders to turn him over or face possible military retaliation.

In the meantime, the Pentagon has announced the call-up of more than 2,000 more Army reservists raising to over 20,000 the number of reservists activated since the terrorist attacks. Most of the reserves are being put to work in a variety of homeland defense duties.

The latest call-ups coincide with the release of the military's latest defense review, a top-to-bottom study of defense strategy conducted every four years.

The document says the top military priority should be protecting the American homeland from attack. It says adequate defenses should be deployed to guard against terrorism and other threats such as biological weapons. But the document also says the U.S. forces must remain capable of undertaking major combat operations on a global basis.

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