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Your DoD Town Hall Questions, Answered

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2001 – The war against terrorism has intervened, but the answers to questions posed to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld during an Aug. 9 Town Hall meeting in the Pentagon have debuted on DefenseLink.

Rumsfeld hosted the meeting and invited service members, DoD civilians and family members worldwide to send e-mail queries for him to answer. "We received about 400 questions," said Dan Philbin, a writer-editor with DoD Public Affairs and the man who collected the answers. "It proves the Internet works."

The questions and answers are available at http://www.defenselink.mil/faq/. In addition, DoD is sending the posted responses directly to those who asked them.

Philbin said the most frequently asked questions related to personnel and readiness. Operations tempo was another hot topic. Also popular were questions about deployments, the Military Retirement and Compensation Bill, downsizing, base closures, civilian retention and military participation in the Thrift Savings Plan.

"I was amazed at how vast personnel and readiness is," Philbin said. Many of the questions were so detailed and personal, he said, it became impossible to competently answer them in a timely manner. "We zeroed in on common themes and sent those in for responses," he said.

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