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VOA-TV Interview with Margaret Kennedy - 2003-03-14


VOA-TV host David Borgida talks with VOA-TV’s Margaret Kennedy aboard the USS Constellation in the Persian Gulf.

MR. BORGIDA
Joining me now, Margaret Kennedy, aboard the USS Constellation in the Persian Gulf. Margaret, what's been going on there today?

MS. KENNEDY
Hi, David. Well, we're looking at a situation where the admirals who command the various carrier battle groups here in the Persian Gulf—there are three of them—were to meet today to discuss their strategy as things go forward.

They announced that there is some movement of some ships from the battle groups in the Mediterranean to the Red Sea. This is because they are trying to cover their contingency planning in case they can't overfly Turkish territory.

They place a great deal of emphasis on being able to fire Tomahawk missiles as part of the potential first strike. And if they can't fire those missiles over Turkey, they need to put them someplace else so that they can indeed reach Iraq.

MR. BORGIDA
And yesterday you were talking about the impact of the weather on the ability of planes to be flying off the carrier and so on. How is it today?

MS. KENNEDY
Well, the weather is much improved. There were about eight pilots who never got back to the ship the night before last, but they have returned now and flight operations are normal.

They are flying about 80 sorties a night, a high number, 77 to 78 sorties a night, into Iraq as part of the no-fly enforcement. So, that's back on schedule now.

MR. BORGIDA
VOA TV's Margaret Kennedy, aboard the USS Constellation in the Persian Gulf. Thanks, Margaret.

MS. KENNEDY
Thanks, David. Bye-bye.

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